The slick-ice trail makes our walk to the beach challenging. It’d be dangerous if I weren’t wearing ice grippers and Aki is a skillful ice dog. We pass the beaver pond. Thanks to the recently snow melt, we can see the just frozen holes that beavers use to leave the pond water. They do that every evening so they can patch holes their pond dam. 

            We see little on the way to the beach except for the portrait of a dragon’s head formed by receding ice. The beach seems empty of life when we reach it. Then a gang of gulls lands on the gravel about twenty feet away. They take up posts on the tops of exposed rocks and give us the hard stare. I still feel honored, maybe even accepted by the normally careful gulls.

            Further down the beach we stumble on three harlequin docks. One, a female, is perched on the water’s edge of a rock watching a gull watching Aki and I. The other two harlequins stand nearby on the beach, also watching the rocky gull. This distraction allows us to get pretty near the ducks until they spot us and take to the water. 

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