I didn’t expect much from this walk on the Auk Beach except a clean trail surface. During the drive through Juneau on rainy streets under flat gray skies, I mentally rejected other trails because the little dog was sure to muddy up her just-bathed body on them. The clouds break as I park the car at the trailhead. Rain still falls but we are squinting into bright sunlight. It backlights the small raft of harlequin ducks that we see here on every visit.
Down the beach a single Pacific loon hunts bait fish. I expect a rainbow at this “devil beating his wife” moment of rain and sun but none appears. Instead a cloud of eagles forms over bait balls just off shore. The big birds drive off the immature birds and then dive with talons extended toward the water. Aki, who once evaded a diving eagle on this same beach, ignores the big birds. I am not worried. The eagles are too intent on fish to even notice a little poodle-mix nosing something washed up by last night’s tide.