We travel to the Eagle River this morning, not because of the to snow geese, the deer, the four herons or the two merganser ducks we will see along the way, but to deliver an apple pie. The pie was made last September with apples picked a little before peak ripeness so the neighborhood bear wouldn’t damage the tree trying to reach them.
We will look for bears on the way to the river. They like to eat dandelion flowers that are now blooming in the road verge. But no bear will appear. One deer will cross the road in front of us. Another, so intent on the spring-fresh grass growing in a roadside ditch, will ignore us when we drive past.
Near the mouth of the river we will join a handful of bird watchers trying to photograph snow geese. The mostly white birds will look as common as feeding barnyard birds until one of the bird watchers gets too close. Then, they will burst into the air, swing low over the beach and crash land near a small band of Canada geese. Because the little dog and I will be standing 15 meters away from the Canadians, I’ll have no problem seeing them land.
That leaves the four heron and the two mergansers. We will surprise the two ducks as they are cuddling on a beach rock. Then they will swim away, head hairs all ahoo. The four heron will be feeding on tidal flats near the ferry terminal. All four will keep their backs to the little dog and I. We will only see the head of one when it uses its beak to preen some wing feathers.