Waiting Game


The beaches and bays around Amalga Harbor are places of waiting. Most are waiting for salmon. A protected area just outside the harbor is full of seine boats. Their captains and crew kill time until the next commercial dog salmon opening. The bears that recently left scat on the Amalga Meadows trail also wait for the fish. Salmon stage for the incoming tide to carry them to the top of the waterfall the drains Peterson Salt Chuck. Hungry Black bears will be there to greet them.

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Aki and I walk across the meadow, and then up and over the low ridge that separates the meadow from Lynn Canal. Heavy rain drops plunk and plonk off the trailside devil’s club and skunk cabbage leaves. Tired of waiting for other victims, mosquitoes swarm out of blue berry bushes to bite the little dog and me. Tired of being bit, I speed out of the forest and onto a rocky point.

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In front of us, the seine boats have formed a waiting community. Behind, a half a dozen eagles, including one with cruciform wings, wait on spruce roosts. Others fly circles over the beach. Feeling the place too exposed for the little dog, I waste no time returning to the protection of the woods.

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