The weather removed any views we could have from this stream delta, lowering its gray blanket to within a few hundred feet of the channel waters, thickening the air beneath with freezing rain, as if directing our attention to the snow whiten beach. Last night’s high tide washed away yesterday’s snow load below the high water line then rolled smooth pebbles and severed sea weed into new designs on the rippled sand. Now an eighth inch sheet of ice firmed snow covers the tide’s work, bringing a veiled beauty to the beach.
Normally able to move in silence, Aki crushes the gray silent with diminutive steps on the crunchy snow. Her foot falls and mine produce the only sound, so different from last summer. Then spawning dog salmon fought for space in this stream then expired on the flats, carried here by the retreating tide setting table for clouds of noisy gulls and a dozen cautious eagles. Today only a handful of fish ducks and one silent raven share our gray world.