Shaman island, gloomy in early morning gray, stands exposed by the minus tide. It’s our Mont San Michel but without a monastery or crepes. Named for the Native holy man buried there, it usually enjoys a barrier of salt water. Crossing the drying causeway we find a beautiful blend of wildflowers just above the high tide land — yellow Indian Paintbrush, red Columbines, and purple Harebells.
We start to circumnavigate the island but stop after realizing that every step around the island’s back side would crush a dozen barnacles. Most of the island lacks a beach. Here, on the back side, waves reach the base of a step slate cliff that protects the bones. Elsewhere on the island a thick tangle of spruce discourages the curious from entering its interior. I’m drawn to the cliff by displays of Harebell and Fireweed flowers that have somehow anchored themselves into the lichen covered rock face. The flowers have spaced themselves to mimic offerings left at a columbarium. Below thins sheets of fallen slate crack under my boots sounding like knackebrod being broken and shared on a Swedish picnic.
Pink salmon jump in the nearby sea, waiting for the flood tide to carry them to their birth waters in Peterson Creek. The small fry, crows and gulls, fight for scrapes on the creek mud flats. Eagles and Ravens squawk and jostle for position in spruce trees lining the beach. They wait for a more bountiful meal.