What do the seals make of Aki?


The mouth of the Mendenhall River narrows and widens with the tide. Today, the tide ebbs, shrinking the river’s width and opening a trail around the tip of Mendenhall Peninsula. Unseen to the little dog and I, chum salmon are finning their way up the river to their spawning grounds in Montana Creek. We smell the rotting corpses of the early arriving salmon that floated down river after a violent spell of mating.


The dead chums keep the interest of a half-a-dozen eagles roosting above us in spruce trees. After hearing the first one scream, Aki takes up a defensive position near my heels. But, the birds are not interested in ten pounds of poodle. They wait for the tide to serve up the dead.


I am not so sure about the harbor seals. Two of them float in the current just off shore. I assume that they are there for the salmon but appear to look longingly at Aki in her yellow fleece coat. Maybe they are just curious as to what creature walks on four legs but wears clothes. As long as we keep moving down the trail, the seals swim towards us. When I stop for more than the time it takes to focus the camera, they slip under the water.



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