Even though they are as common as lice in in urban and suburban centers, the presence of Canadian geese always excites me. Maybe it’s because here they hunt for their food rather than nibble golf course grass. This morning, one of our local flocks follows the flood tide up the Eagle Beach bar. The sun shines over my shoulder and onto the chestnut sides of the geese. I can almost make out the feather details.
Aki and I are crunching along a snow-covered portion of the beach. It is calm but the north wind is already whipping down Lynn Canal, raising a building surf. When it reaches this beach it will feel more like winter than early spring.
The sunlight that strikes the geese is also brightening the white sides of the Chilkat Range. It seems like months since I’ve last seen these mountains that form the western edge of Lynn Canal.
On the way from the car we spotted a large flock of gulls tucked together as tight as puppies on a sand bar. When the tide must flooded their sandy nest the gulls formed a sudden avian cloud above the surf line, startling a cabal of crows into the air. The now black and white cloud pulses above the canal, some birds settling on the water, only to explode back into the air. When the tide retreats off the beach, they settle back into their puppy pile.