Something dark flashes on the bay’s surface and disappears. As I wonder whether it wasn’t an illusion, the thing reappears. Just as I identify it as a Dahl porpoise, it is gone. Aki and I are hiding from the rain under a picnic shelter. She’s had a good morning, meeting dogs and reading the pee mail. Me, not so much. Up until now, I’ve had to be content with sightings of three golden eye ducks and a handful of mallards.
Aki starts whining, making it clear that she is not onboard with my plan to wait for the porpoise to resurface. I ignore her for a minute and then give in. We will never see the porpoise again. The walk back to the car makes up for the porpoise disappointment. No snow covers the trail, except where there are breaks in the thick old growth canopy above it. These patches stand out in otherwise dusk-like forest, like strips of dayglo paint. An eagle screams interrupts the song of an unseen sparrow.
On the drive home we stop to watch a great blue heron fish near a raft of mallards. All the birds are working a smallish tidal lake near the ferry terminal. The heron looks grumpy. It hunches it shoulders and keeps it back turned to me. I wait for some action, maybe one of its lightning-fast attempts to spear a fish with its wicked beak. But he holds his “I can’t see you” pose until Aki begins to whine.