We’re walking beside, and sometimes in, the water’s edge in fog-bound Great Cove. The air is still and the patches of sea that are visible are silvered mirrors. The quiet seems to have slowed time. Suddenly, there’s a whuff-whuff sound above us and we become frighteningly aware that something big and alive is there and closing fast. We instinctively duck.


A first-year Herring Gull strafes us and flies out low over the Cove, the air from each wing beat ruffling its own reflection there. The youngster keeps going and disappears. We can’t see its face, but like to think that it’s smiling. (Brooklin, Maine)