Eagle River in Wild Flower Time

Aki doesn’t realize that Chum salmon are trickling into Eagle River.  They pooled up in nearby salt water until the tide changed from ebb to flood.  Now they ride an income tide over the sand bars at the river’s mouth. To enter the river the salmon must swim pass a half-a-dozen seals.

            Aki doesn’t see the seals, even when one 50 meters away snatches a salmon and splashes around the river surface until its powerful jaws crush the fish’s spine. Distracted by the seal-salmon scene, I don’t notice the little dog wade chest-deep into the river. While Aki sips away, two of the seals swirl toward her. They stop when they spot me and the black barrel of my camera lens.  

            An immature bald eagle watches Aki and the seals, perched on the skeleton of a spruce tree that vibrates in the river current. The eagle is close enough to the water for a seal to grab it with a quick lunge. The eagle wouldn’t have to worry about the seals if it moved further up the tree. But the tree limbs protect it from any assault from the air. An adult eagle watches all of us from the top of a riverside spruce tree. Maybe the mid-river bird has some history with the mature eagle. 

            When Aki leaves the river, the immature bird flies off and the seals return to their salmon hunt. We walk over to a line of dunes now covered with summer wildflowers. Five-foot high stalks of fireweed line our trail. Heavy-bodied bumble fees collect pollen feed from the magenta fireweed blossoms. One releases some golden-colored liquid that dribbles toward the ground. Do bees pee like poodles, little dog?   

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