Every day offers gifts from nature, even if they are soaked by winter rain. Otherwise we would never leave the house on such a damp day. Now, wrapped in fleece and pack cloth Aki gallops ahead of me in soft deep snow. It’s her Tigger moment but I’m determined not to play the Eeyore. On snow shoes I follow behind my randomly bounding dog until we cross the fresh tracks of a wolf leading to the beach.
The tide is out so the table is set for wolf. Here, where a glacier river enters the sea it would take half an hour to reach salt water. I scan the beach and river banks with binoculars but find only drift wood and gulls.
Last night’s high tide left much of the river bank bare so I take off the snow shoes and walk up river on sand and meadow grass. The signs of a great thaw are everywhere. Polygon slabs of ice are stacked far from the river, some glacier blue and others as clear as window glass. One releases egg shaped rocks as it melts.
Aki and I are use to finding things carried high by the tide to this meadow. Last summer she tried to play with dog salmon caught in shallow holes by the retreating tide. Today there is only ice, drift wood and an eagle transiting over the beach in a series of slow circles. I pick up Aki and envy the owners of black labs as the eagle circles twice over our heads.