Noise

I wish that those Canada geese would shut up. Aki doesn’t react to my rude comment as she moves down the Boy Scout Beach Trail. The geese, a clutch of at least twenty, occupy a frosty hillside on the other side Eagle River. Most search for food. Several stand guard on the hilltop. They all contribute to the general den, sounding like barking dogs. 

            The sun just managed to clear the mountain ridge to the south. Perhaps the geese are cheering it on. Maybe they are gossiping or giving unnecessary warnings about Aki’s presence. 

             Wrens add to the din, as do two red-breasted sapsuckers hammering an alder with their beaks. The little dog and I leave the woodpeckers behind and use a shaded trail to reach a tidal meadow. No matter how far we walk, we can never escape the dog yard sound of the geese.  

            More Canada geese float on river eddies or rest on exposed gravel bars. They start barking the minute we reach the meadow. The resident flock of Canada geese have spread themselves out on both sides of the river.

 We won’t be free of geese chatter until we walk down Boy Scout Beach, swing back across the meadow, and return to the shaded trail. All the river birds will go silent when we leave the meadow. We will walk in silence, broken only by the roar of the river running over emerging rocks, until we are almost to the car. Men, not birds, will shatter the solitude, sharing their hunting stories. 

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