We have been here before. Me, wandering onto questionable ice; Aki waiting at the ice edge waiting for me to come to my senses. Her lack of trust once would have bothered me. But after seeing a new crack in the pond I smile and turn back to join her. The little poodle-mix has a sled dog’s distrust of ice. She also has a lead dog’s loyalty. She would have followed me across the beaver pond ice if I had continued.
After our retreat, we head down an ice covered trail to the Outer Point Beach. Thanks to my industrial grade ice cleats, I can walk without slipping. Aki must take more care. But she has a sled dog’s skill at changing gait and speed to keep from falling.
Two harbor seals watch us walk onto the beach. An eagle flies across the mouth of Peterson Creek. After I raise my camera the big predator makes a course correction and returns to its roosting tree. The seals disappear. I can almost hear a nearby raft of golden eye ducks breathe a collective sigh of relief.