No seals swam Eagle River when we walked along it this morning. No eagles huddled in the rain, complaining about our invasion of their privacy. There was a heron and one duck flying fast and low over the river, offering little more than a glimpse before disappearing into river born fog. With sand bars bared by an ebbing autumnal tide, the table was set for birds and wolves but no one took advantage.
Our path across the tidal meadow was greasy with rain water and the decomposing flesh of this year’s salmon—an image as comforting in the rain forest as water and fertilizer being poured onto crop land is for a farmer. I didn’t mind the greasy ground, the absence of animals or even the little islands of salmon jaws, gill covers, and backbones we found scattered at random on the meadow grass. The latter are fitting fall decorations for land along a salmon stream.