Aki and I are walking through the ruins of winter. At least that is how it seems. No snow clings to the trailside trees or hides the forest floor. Ice only covers two-thirds of the pond, and that is paper thin. A strip of denser ice covers the trail. It will soon be gone unless the north wind returns our winter.
This is not the spring of fresh growth and bird song—it is the time for mud and dead grass. We will see four eagles on our walk to salt water. All of them will be roosting on mid-channel navigation markers. One Canada goose will fly over calling out for companions. We will never spot its flock.
None of this desolation will bother a merganser drake floating on a disintegrating ice island. True, its red-colored head feathers will be all ahoo. But that’s normal for the fish ducks. It will float by an ice remnant that looks like a sea wolf. I will wonder if the first artist in this area were inspired by such stubborn pieces of dying ice.