Winners and Losers

Clusters of emerging water lily leaves look like whales breaching on the surface of the beaver pond. Some leaves have already flattened out on the water to gather the summer’s energy.  Strong morning light makes the others translucent. 

The tail slap of a nervous beaver sounds on the other side of the pond. Above the pond, a male woodpecker hops erratically up and down an overhanging alder tree. It’s a red-breasted sapsucker, not the three-toed woodpecker I was expecting. Last summer the three-toed raised a brood of chicks in a nearby spruce snag. I saw the male feeding near where the sapsucker is staring at me.  Each season has its winners and losers.    

We’ve been enjoying an early stretch of sunny, warm weather, which has drawn campers to beaches, like the one that Aki and I will soon reach on the trail. When a family of campers approaches, I grab Aki and retreat a few meters off the trail. In a few minutes the little dog and I reach their campsite and find an eagle and raven checking it out for scraps. 

These campers had totally extinguished their fire before leaving.  Two days ago, sixteen acres of forest and grass-covered dunes burned near Boy Scout Beach, a place Aki and I like to visit. We have seen bears digging up the meadow grass there to harvest chocolate lily roots.  The place was crowded with Canada geese the last time we walked over the dunes. Now the geese and bears will have to find somewhere else to feed. 

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