Grumpy Teenager

I am not as disappointed with today’s rain as this miserable looking bald eagle. It has perched itself on a rise of gravel just feet from the edge of Lynn Canal. its hunched posture and rain soaked feathers make it look miserable. Worse, the eagle is going through the transition into adulthood so splotches of white feathers pock its chestnut chest like acne on a teenager’s face. Behind it, Canada geese, mallards, and gulls, unfazed by the weather, patrol the water offshore for food.  

            Only the lower flanks of the Chilkat Mountains show beneath the marine layer. Perhaps the eagle misses his mountain view.  The water birds look as comfortable as tourists on a hot Rivera beach. They don’t need fancy raincoats or even hats.  The eagle’s mood might be enhanced by a little something from Patagonia. 

            We have just walked down Eagle River and across exposed tidal flats to the canal, passing a drake Bufflehead duck and two hens. The drake did a barrel roll while the ladies watched. The little dog and I have seen ducks plop forward in a dive or plunge their heads straight into the water until their feet and tail feathers are sticking straight into the air.  We have never seen one roll over and over while in the water. Is this an innovation spawned by love? 

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