Winners and Losers

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Carless for the past few days, Aki and I have been limited to trails that begin and end at our front door. Our walks on them reminded me that even in our benign little town, there are winners and losers. The winners whistled or even smiled at my little dog as we walk past them in the rain. One young African-American man called out a hello followed by, “Stay white.” While pondering this possible mixed message, I passed the rubble of a homeless camp and the avaricious jewel merchants of Lower Franklin Street.

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Today, again having wheels, we head out to the North Douglas Island trail that leads to a beach view of Shaman Island. At the end of a warm, wet summer, the fungus are winners here. So are the tall displays of devil’s club that thrive in forest opened by wind-felled spruce and hemlock trees.

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I not sure whether the two kingfishers we spot consider themselves winners or losers. The hunker on rocks just offshore apparently waiting for a fingering to expose itself. A clump of gulls huddle along the mouth of Peterson Creek. Otherwise the little bay is empty. No eagles or ravens complain. No rafts of scoters or ducks bob in the mild surface.

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