Flashing Purple

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Ducks and wind. That’s all Aki finds on the Sheep Creek Delta. She ignores the ducks, which is good and tries to ignore the wind. That 20-knot breeze blowing up channel numbs me and seems to pen down the ducks. A thin line of Barrow golden eyes hug the beach, forming an arrow that points at a confused raft of surf scoters, who work to keep their orange and black beaks pointed into the wind. In the creek shallows mallards walk and feed with their beaks in the water. A brace of the big ducks break into flight, the hen exposing iridescent-purple tertial feathers when she spreads her wings.

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