For the first time in a week, Aki sees her shadow. But, she doesn’t look at her dark self. She concentrates on an orange colored disk that flies along the shore of Mendenhall Lake. After running her Frisbee to ground, the little dog trots up to me. Distracted by a nearby eagle, I give Aki a nonchalant pat. The eagle, an immature bald, perches on a small rock and faces the glacier. I wonder if the big bird is stunned by the glowing river of ice or merely enjoy the warmth of afternoon sun on its chestnut colored back.
The eagle turns its head to watch us. We place Aki on a lead so she won’t disturb the bird and circle around it. But we can’t avoid entering its privacy zone and it breaks into flight.
After visiting a monster-sized beaver dam, we circle back to car but have to pause to let two mature bald eagles bathe in peace in a shallow stream. When other dog walkers approach these birds from the opposite direction they fly up into a nearby cottonwood tree and give us the stink eye when we pass underneath their roost.