The birds are singing out the chorus to Concerto in C for Chain Saw. People who have never visited a rain forest won’t recognize it. Pine Siskins begin the chorus with high notes. Red breasted sap suckers hammer in a percussion line. Three-toed woodpeckers and blue jays take up the tenor parts. Then, from the other side of the forest a chain saw roars.
The chain saw’s contribution grows as we walk deeper into the woods. When it pauses, we can hear spruce wood cracking. A trail crew must be dropping the three-hundred-year-old spruce that has been rotting near the trail for decades. Porcupines had hallowed a chamber at the tree’s base. Last fall the big trees’ twin fell during a wind storm.
As we approach, I try to engage Aki in a debate about whether the crew should be hurrying the old giant’s death. Aki doesn’t bite. Being the practical one, she probably agrees with the trail crew. If they don’t cut it down today, it might someday crush one of her dog buddies when it falls naturally.