The dog salmon have returned home to Sheep Creek. They each were hatched here. They all will die here. Before that, they will scrabble for spawning space in the stream gravel. Eagles have already gathered to feed on the salmon’s expired bodies.
I put Aki on a lead this foggy morning after spotting a bald eagle, as indistinct as a ghost in the gloom, flying a circle around us. Creek and tidal currents have formed a gravel causeway above the delta’s marshy wetlands. I am about walk onto the causeway when I spot an eagle in the middle of it perched on a driftwood root wad. Five or six other eagles stand on the beach or other driftwood logs but they all have to look up to see the eagle on the causeway.
I expect the elevated eagle to fly off but it holds to its throne as we approach. Before we invade the eagle’s personal space, I walk the little dog in a wide circle around it. The big bird is still on its perch when we return to the car.