There’s Always an Eagle

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The forest is silent except for the plunking of raindrops hitting skunk cabbage leaves. No thrush sings it’s claiming song of love. No flock of chickadees chit their hunting chant. Even the normally bossy Steller’s jay is keeping its beak shut.

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I picked this trail for the protection it offers from the rain. The not silence and solitude are a bonus. The trail also grants us access to the beach where there will always be an eagle. We hear its scolding screech first then spot it.  The eagle sits on a small rock in the flooded tidal zone where it had been enjoying some me-time before we broke out of the woods.

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Beyond the eagle’s perch, fog partially obscures our view of Admiralty Island.  I look without success for the fog-like exhale flumes of humpback whales and return to the eagle. From behind Shaman Island comes the huffing sound of surfacing sea lions. While I wait for them to round the island into view, I realize that the sounds could have come from the forest, not the sea.  Bear sows huff out warnings to their cubs. I’ve heard a nearby brown bear mother huff as her cub approached me on a Misty Fjord beach. But the huffs this morning, which sound like moist air being expelled through a tube, couldn’t have been made by a land mammal, no matter how large.

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