A little sulky, Aki was slow to meet me at the front door this morning. We both squinted against the rain while walking to the car. She was keen enough at the trailhead. But now she starts up every trail that would lead back to the car. The little poodle-mix wants our winter back. Two days ago it rode the jet stream down to the east coast of America where only school children in hope of a snow day welcomed it. Winter’s gray cousin, autumn, has back fill the hole with rain and wind.
We walk through a thin stretch of old growth spruce forest between Auk Bay and the main road out of town. The woods offer filtered views of the bay through which I watch the resident raft of harlequin ducks dive in unison on bait fish. A larger raft of Barrow goldeneyes works nearby waters. Ducks don’t need sunlight or snow to feed.
Down beach a line of gulls work the surf line and the rolls of seaweed formed by the last flood tide. Once in the air, the gulls are the most graceful things on the beach. But they must lumber through their takeoffs and almost always splash their landings.