Aki and I leave Chicken Ridge early so I can see the effect of early morning light on the birds drawn to the Mendenhall River. Walking an approach trail through the old growth, we hear the falsetto cries of eagles in the canopy and the lower register complaints of mallards and Canada geese coming from the beach. The geese and eagles leave before we make the beach but I can see a raft of mallards on the river. But, they burst away when I am still too far away to use the camera. Aki is fine with an eagle-less beach. She ducks when darkened by the shadow of the last eagle to fly away.
I am disappointed with the emptiness until we find a patch of lupine flowers just catching their first light. Their stalks resemble spear points painted a white at the tip that yield to lilac where the points swell.
Aki sniffs at the lupines but is much more interested in four water bottles that rest in a line. They look like lazy campers warming in the sun. Does the poodle catch the scent of someone who purchased the bottles at Costco and laid them out in a row so they could glow in the sun? More likely she is overwhelmed by the smells acquired by the bottles as they floated to shore on the tide.