Porpoising

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Aki needs some beach time so we head to the old Auk Village site. It is still snowing when we arrive. We are at the tail end of the storm that left a foot of white stuff on the old growth forest floor. The little dog and I move down a well-packed trail as wet snow and melt water drip from the trailside spruce. We are soaked by the time we drop down onto the snow-free beach.

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As Aki chases after her Frisbee, I scan the crescent-shaped bay for life. In addition to the usual confab of gulls, harlequin ducks, and crows, I spot a small pod of Dahl porpoise hunting just offshore. They, well porpoise: briefly break the bay’s surface then dip back beneath the water. It happens fast, too fast to see anything but backs and dorsal fins. Unlike their larger cousins, the whales, the porpoise don’t form a noticeable plume when they exhale. But their rolling through water shinning silver with storm light still gives me a thrill.

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