We could have picked a better day for it. With wind smashing rain against the house, Aki and I mount up for a wracking expedition. It’s something we do every fall, like picking berries or raking leaves. The seaweed we collect will protect our perennials from hard freezes. Next spring it will enrich our compost.
Like a child left with an inattentive father for the day, Aki entertains herself on the beach. She sniffs and pees, sniffs and pees, then noses a full collection bucket. Finding nothing of interest there, she searches the beach for a fun distraction. I carry two of the heavy buckets up a steep path to the car. Aki follows at my heels and appears more than willing to jump in and wait for me to fetch the other buckets. Did I mention the pouring rain?
Chores done, I drive to the end of North Douglas Island and lead Aki through a swamp full of nonproducing lingon berries to another beach.. “This is just for fun little dog.” The sun muscles out from a cloudbank and partially blinds us with reflective glare. We stand at the edge of a rock shelf just above diminutive surf. We have sun and the comforting sound of breaking waves; the beauty of Admiralty Island partially shrouded in clouds and four buckets of wrack stored back at the car.