The snow, which kept other dog walkers from Sandy Beach, is having no apparent affect on the mallards. They chuckle and float just offshore. The quarter (or Euro) sized snowflakes confuse my camera but not my eye. Seeing the ducks clearly, I say, “What a piece of work is man, little dog.” Aki doesn’t hear me. She is down the beach, peeing on a clump of grass.
What a piece of work is this day, I mutter to myself. The still flooding tide pushes high up the snow-covered beach. It stripped away snow from the old wharf pilings, leaving a coating of white on the piling parts it can’t reach. Pancakes of snow bump into the shore and each other as tiny swells roll into the beach.
We round a point and spot more ducks swimming under alder branches that are bent over with snow. The little dog and I will have to shimmy our way under, over, and around a tangle of alders to reach the trail into Treadwell Woods. The ducks pay us little attention even though we come within a few meters of them during our passage. We are close enough to a drake to see a teardrop of water slip from its beak and plop into the water.