It’s early morning when we stop to look at Mendenhall Glacier from the North Douglas boat ramp. Pre-dawn sunlight touches the tops of the Mendenhall Towers but not the stream of ice. Across Lynn Canal, the same light hits the Chilkat Mountains with enough strength to wipe out any detail. Usually morning light clarifies rather than obscures landscapes. Has something upset the laws of nature? Aki is no help and the two stellar sea lions practicing synchronized swimming just off shore only growl.
We press on to the Outer Point Trail and take it through an old growth forest to the beach. Only squirrels break the silence until we walk close enough to the shore to hear the complaints of gulls. It’s low tide so all the birds are on the feed except a monstrous murder of crows roosted in the trees on Shaman Island. They mutter like witnesses at an execution.
We could walk to the island on a spit only exposed by the lowest tides. Maybe that’s why the crows complain. But that doesn’t explain why the scooters and mallards panic into the air and circle while the gulls feed. I look for the eagle that we passed under to reach the spit and find it gone.