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Then, as my mind drifted through the trees, I heard a noise so strange that my senses all came to full alert. Eyes open, staring at the sky, I saw a raven fly directly over my head. The noise that had captured my attention was the sound of raven wings cutting through the bright blue sky. Then, as if it knew it had interrupted my tranquil moment, the bird broke the silence with the croaking, laughing calls of a raven that knows it has just played a trick on someone. I can still remember those magical sounds as if I had heard them yesterday.

In an age of engines and oil, canoes give us a chance to become a part of nature again, even if it's just for a little while.

As dusk drew near I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some time watching a young broad-winged hawk as it soared, circled, and called out across the forest over, and over, and over. Approaching its full independence the bird was probably a little hungry, a little cranky, and may have been hoping to beg a meal from one of its parents. Eventually the young hawk disappeared to the east, first drifting out of sight and then out of earshot.

Beavers are bound to the water by millions of years of evolution. To put it quite simply, they have nowhere else to turn for their lives. Damning streams and making ponds is what they do, so we have to give them a little slack. We humans, on the other hand, like to think of ourselves as intelligent and adaptive. We have learned to how to adapt to beavers by protecting roads with water-level regulators and our favorite trees with wire fencing, but we need to learn to adapt our thinking as well.

Copyright 2006 William Danielson