Peace or Desolation?


Little of today’s soft rain can reach Aki and I in this old growth forest. A stronger downpour, like we get in autumn, would drive off the peace by pounding on broad-leafed devil’s club bushes and ramp up the musical volume of the forest streams. But today the forest is a quiet place, its peace broken only a scolding squirrel.

Aki, who likes excitement and chance encounters with other dogs, might think the quiet forest desolate. But her ignorance of human language shields her from the rattle and squeak of radio news shows. She can find peace anytime in her kennel.

3We break out of the woods and find the beach empty except for a desolation of crows. Even the rain-rattled water between outer point and Shaman Island is vacant except for a pair of mergansers wandering near the point. On the north side of the island, other crows fly over surf scoters and a mated pair of harlequins. They photo bomb my shots of the ducks and the cloud-shrouded mainland.2


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