Sometime during the night a powerful high tide scattered 8-inch-thick pans of ice on the trail. The wet snowstorm that plagued us for several days moved on. Fresh morning light shines on the fresh snow covering Fish Creek Pond. As an added bonus, the snow provides good footing. When it melts in a hour or so, the ice-covered trail will be too slick to walk on without ice cleats.
At first the place is silent. No eagle cries as we round the pond and walk out onto the spit that separates Fish Creek from Fritz Cove. No mallard cackles. Then we hear a bald eagle complaint. On the grassy bank of the creek, the noisy eagle is spreading its wings to dry them. It has the white head and tail of a mature bird but the mottled wings of a young one. It looks wet and disheveled.
We won’t see any other birds on the way to the creek mouth. A man with his Labrador retriever will flushed them first by walking around on the wetlands. He will wear the camo clothing of a hunter but there is nothing for him to hunt.
I will debate whether it is any of my business where the man walks. I will argue that it is his responsibility not to intimidate the wild residents off the wetlands when so much of the food-rich ground is exposed by a very low tide. I will follow Aki’s example and concentrate on the fresh light on fresh snow.