Herring Gulls

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As the second Pacific storm in as many days shakes the car, I drive Aki out to the old Auk Village site. It offers a trail through old growth large enough to protect us from wind-driven rain. Ducks—Barrow goldeneyes and harlequins—fish waters just off the crescent-shaped beach. We spot no eagles or ravens but herring gulls fill the air. They seem to ride the strengthening currents for recreation, not for advantage. Graceful in flight, they plunk onto the water when they land, wings half folded, as if they misjudged their approach. Many of the gulls land on the beach and gather where a fresh water stream erodes the beach gravel. Some flutter in the stream, splashing the water like children in a municipal pool. Others look for bits of food dislodged it or the small surf pushed onshore by the storm.

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