Wet Eagles

This morning started being about the rain and ended up being about eagles. Rain beat a tattoo on the house roof as I pulled on my parka. Reminding her that the weather is never as bad as it appears from inside a snug house, I secured a wrap on the poodle-mix and led her to the car. We drove out the North Douglas Island Road. The rain stopped by the time we arrived at the trailhead. What did I tell you, little dog?

            We crossed over a stream that will host spawning silver salmon in July. Oversized skunk cabbage plants lined both sides if it. Aki stops to sniff at a print made when a large canine planted one of its paws in the muddy bank and lept in or over the narrow stream. She keeps at my heals after that. 

            After passing many flowering cloudberry plants, we reach the beach in time to watch a line of seven bald eagles flying down Stephen’s Passage to Admiralty Island. The first eagle hovers and then dives toward the water. The rest continue south. I go back and forth between watching the diving eagle and keeping track of the rest of them until I misplace them all. 

            Aki, who is not comfortable around eagles or wolves, hangs back at the forest’s edge until the last eagle disappears. She leads me off the beach and up to a muskeg meadow where three of the eagles fly over low our heads. One clasps a small fish in its talons. It heads into the woods, maybe to deliver the fish to its nest-minding mate. 

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