Gull’s Sabbath


On gray days, even the palest yellow draws the eye. At least it draws my eye. The dog’s enjoyment of a rain forest is not dependent on light. We turn a blind corner on the trail and Aki raises her head and cringes back, as if she hit a wall of foul smell. I can’t detect any scents other than the moist leaves filling the gaps between the understory plants.


The poodle mix relaxes, as she has solved the puzzle but moves forward with caution. At a place where a faint game trail intersects the one we are using, she takes a quick sniff and trots on.

While not a great reader of animal tracks, I have spent enough time with Aki to understand her sign language. She smelled a bear when we rounded the blind corner, determined that the bear was fading, then tracked it to where it dropped away into the forest.


Soon we hear the sound of out-of-sort gulls coming from the beach. I imagine a white cloud of them fighting with eagles or waiting for a humpback whale to power through a ball of herring. But when we reach the beach, the gulls are jammed up against the beach by high tide. One stands on a rock just offshore and lectures his flock. I wonder if gulls celebrate their sabbath on Saturday.


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