Yesterday, Aki and I watched hundreds of mallard ducks feeding in Fritz Cove. On this rainy morning I can only find gulls. Most huddle together in twos and threes on the beach as raindrops bounce off their feathers. Aki sniffs a quick survey of the ground and gives me a nervous look. No eagles sulk in the rain. No mean spirited shiba inu stares at her from the forest’s edge so I continue down the beach.
Still-yellow wild rose bushes, mountain ashes, and cottonwood trees glow like muted lights in the gray gloom. The next windstorm should strip the trees and bushes bare. After that we will have to look for beauty in bark patterns and tangled branches until it snows.
A matched brace of mallards swims out from a weathered piling. They swim slowly away from each other and come back together, tracing the shape of a heart on the water’s surface. A hundred meters away, a large raft of golden eye ducks float on Gastineau Channel. But there are no other mallards within sight. Without looking at the little dog I ask, Aki, do you think these two are on a honeymoon? She is already in the woods, sheltering from the rain.