At 9:15 this morning, the sun climbed above the Douglas Island mountain ridge and lit up the glacier and mountains on the north side of Gastineau Channel. Aki and I waited at the mouth of Fish Creek for the sun to climb high just a little higher so it could shine light on the tidal meadow on which we stood.
Trailside grass protected the diminutive poodle from the wind. But nothing prevented the breeze from carrying away my body heat. Just offshore, a small circle of gulls rolled and splashed in the water. It was time for their morning bath. Further out, over a hundred mallard ducks lazed.
Feeling totally out classed by the birds and unwilling to let my hands go numb as they held my camera, I pulled on a heavy pair of mittens and turned to search for the sun. Even though it was only 9:30, the sun had already slipped behind the mountains for the day.
Aki needed no encouragement to join me on a return hike to the car. No ducks paddled on the pond but we did see a red-breasted merganser caught out in the open on the creek. The exposed fish duck powered through the current to reach the wooded shore where it disappeared under the overhanging limbs of a spruce tree.