Gull’s Sabbath

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On gray days, even the palest yellow draws the eye. At least it draws my eye. The dog’s enjoyment of a rain forest is not dependent on light. We turn a blind corner on the trail and Aki raises her head and cringes back, as if she hit a wall of foul smell. I can’t detect any scents other than the moist leaves filling the gaps between the understory plants.

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The poodle mix relaxes, as she has solved the puzzle but moves forward with caution. At a place where a faint game trail intersects the one we are using, she takes a quick sniff and trots on.

While not a great reader of animal tracks, I have spent enough time with Aki to understand her sign language. She smelled a bear when we rounded the blind corner, determined that the bear was fading, then tracked it to where it dropped away into the forest.

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Soon we hear the sound of out-of-sort gulls coming from the beach. I imagine a white cloud of them fighting with eagles or waiting for a humpback whale to power through a ball of herring. But when we reach the beach, the gulls are jammed up against the beach by high tide. One stands on a rock just offshore and lectures his flock. I wonder if gulls celebrate their sabbath on Saturday.

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