This is our third attempt in a month to reach Norton Lake. Water backing up from a beaver dam flooding the trail forced me to give up on the first two attempts. It has dropped enough to allow me to reach the lake with damp, but not soaked boots. Aki and I splash along the edge of the water until reaching an old beaver dam. I walk across the top of the dam until reaching a deer trail that leads to the lake.
Aki didn’t walk onto the dam until I was most of the way across it. When I look back, she gives me her, “Are you sure this is how you want to end your life?” look. I search the pond waters for crocodiles and the nearby woods for bears. Seeing none, I push on. Aki dashes across the dam to join me on the other side. Then, she gives me her “I hope this is worth it” glare.
Few dogs have passed this way so at first Aki has little use for her nose. Then she finds beaver scent and appears to go into a trance as she rolls in it. That must have made the dam crossing worth it for the little poodle-mix. I expected a chance to view more northbound waterfowl or even a young beaver looking for a mate. But we only see a bufflehead drake and a small gang of tense looking mallards.
It’s a clam day so lake provides a nice mirror for the glacier and Mt. McGinnis. Little birds sing and make quick sorties onto the ground for seeds or gravel but don’t stay long enough for me to make an identification. Then, an alder flycatcher bops unto the limb of a dead snag lets itself be photographed. I manage to take two photos—one when it is frozen on the snag, and the other with its wings flashed out in a turn.