This trail touches on two bays. The first one we reach today is empty of birds and seals. On the second one, a huge gathering of surf scooters have formed a quarter-mile long black crescent with their bodies. Here and there, one of their members bursts into a short flight, calling out a half-hearted version of their hysterical warning call. The rest are harvesting.
So precise is the interior line of the crescent that I wonder if it forms a psychological barrier for baitfish between the birds and the beach. Does the long line of feathered bodies and paddling feet scare fish toward the shore? I can’t imagine any other explanation for the scooters’ precise work. If a bait ball passes under the crescent, the scooters splash into the water after them.
The Scooters aren’t the only busy critters in the area. Perhaps panicked by the way the rain-swollen pond waters flooded over the top of their damns during last night’s storm, the big rodents piled sticks and branches on top of their main dam. But they couldn’t prevent water from escaping the smaller ones. Over these water now floods across the beach trail. Aki minces her way through the overflow. We both have wet feet after the passage.