Aki looks upset. It could be the rain that pounds down on the little dog. She might be uncomfortable in the extra clothes I pulled over her head to keep her warm on this cool fall day. Perhaps she is having an existential crisis, wondering whether there is a point to her daily walks in the rain.The 12-year-old could quickly relieve herself in the side yard and be back in the house before the rain could darkened her curls.
I move on down the Outer Point Trail, one of her favorites. Aki stalls and then shuffles slowing towards me, head down. She spends little time checking the pee mail. Maybe the rain has managed to wash even the persistent dog urine away. I can feel water working its way down my collar and seep through my jacket fabric to soak into the sleeves of my pull over. Now of one mind with the poodle-mix, I speed up the pace, looking to be back at the car before rain washes the trail and us away.
We stall for a few minutes where the trail touches the beach. A half-a-dozen eagles sulk in the trees or along the shore of Peterson Creek. They show no interest in us. Nor do a mixed flock of dark-eyed juncos and swallows. An abundance of rain does that even to those that earn their living in the wild.
On our return through the forest we learn that our concern over wash outs is justified. Water backed up by a beaver dam has closed over sections of the boardwalk trail. Aki and I splash through, emerging with wet feet. A top-notched Steller’s jay watches while perched on a partially submerged skunk cabbage leaf. Normally a jumpy bird, the jay looks more puzzled than alarmed at our presence.