Lest I leave you with the impression that island life is all spongy moss and sparkling sea, aromatic evergreens and tantalizing tidepools, here’s a reminder that the laws of survival are as merciless out here as any place.
A seal carcass recently washed ashore into a nearby cove. Years ago, another cove housed a deer’s body, insides leaking out, legs a-tangle in seaweed and rope. The smell of rot accompanies bay and balsam. Fish are daily victims of cormorants and loons who dive, bob to surface, and flip the flapping fins into their gullets. Osprey pounce with greater splash, talons down, rising to the sky with wriggling fish, wrested breathlessly from their world. Gulls leave less gruesome remains – the shells of mussels and urchins, the legs of crabs, strewn carelessly along rooted, woodsy paths. And unlucky gulls, in their turn, end up as owl’s prey. Nothing left but feathers to attest to the violent scene that ended their flash of life here on earth and sea.
My 60th year in 60,000 words
Day 344: 166 words, TOTAL = 56,718; 3,282 remaining
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.