No salmon swirl the surface of Fish Creek Pond or leap from it into the air. No scavengers bicker over salmon scraps on the pond beach. The time for that passed when last week’s high water swept the remaining pink salmon back into the sea. Last week three eagles, the little dog and I watched a dozen mergansers plop onto the lake. This morning only one of the redheaded duck works the pond. It looks to be a day of ones.
We will see several eagles, but all but one will be roosting alone. One gull will squawk and glide alone over the exposed tidal flats. I will watch a single dark eyed junco bounce on a thin elderberry branch. Toward the end of the walk we will spy on a dipper dancing in the pond shallows. Then we will watch the merganser abandon its monopoly on the pond.
Like merganser and the other loners, Aki and I don’t mind having the place to our selves—a land gone to rest after the salmon spawn. Gone, for now, are the clouds of eagles, crows, ducks, and gulls. Here, until the winter ducks return, is a place dominated by peace and the persistent wind.