Another sunny day, a day for the ducks to fly above the guns on the wetlands. Aki and I take advantage of the resulting lack of hunters to use the Nine Mile Creek access point to edge onto a plain of flaxen colored beach glass. Still-green patches show through the standing dead stalks. Everything is covered with frost that is already yielding to the rising sun. I want to linger under the cloud-free sky and watch ground fog dissipate to reveal the islands dotting Gastineau Channel. Even now I can just make out a patch of orange-leafed cottonwoods that challenge the green monopoly held on the island by spruce most of the year.
Distracted, I lose track of Aki. When I finally spot the little dog, she is moving toward the tree line. Something has spooked her. I don’t hear eagles so suspect she smells cordite that lingers on the wetland from the last hunter’s visit