Wild Tenement House

sealAki and I walk the shoulder of North Douglas Highway. Earlier a harbor seal pushed it nose and then head out of the water thirty feet away. It starred at Aki like she might be a possible playmate or, more likely, a meal. I snapped a few pictures before it disappeared. So easy.

Now, I’m frustrated. For the third or fourth time, a feeding sea lion breaks the water with a huff, dips down, rises a few more times and disappears before I can take its picture. It repeats these moves over and over again. Each time I hear its huffy release of breath, I try to focus. Just before the time the sensor on this old camera settles on its image, the sea lion is gone.

sea lion         A belt kingfisher, one of my favorite birds, poses on the root wad of a driftwood spruce tree. It too darts off before the sensor can do it work. Two miles up the road, we turn around just as another sea lion begin barking somewhere on the other side of Smuggler’s Cove. A sparrow sings as a brace of eagles screech at a raven that flies too close to their roosts. Two smallish sea lions swim a parallel course to the little dog and I. They stay on the surface long enough for me to take their picture. As the cloud of frustration lifts and the hauled out sea lion start to groan, I imagine a New York tenement house on a hot summer morning. Through the open windows we hear the groan of a glutton with a distended stomach. His angry wife, in a high eagle-like voice, chews him out for playing the fool. When the groans and screeches subside we hear the bird-like song of the daughter who could have danced all night. On the street, two teenagers ease up the street, hoping to sneak up to their room before their parents can catch them.seal 2

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