Here is a look upstream at this beautiful, placid river.
Karin noticed a trail along the east side of the river so off we went, exploring the riverbank. One of the first things I noticed was all of the beaver activity. Lots and lots of trees had been felled in the woods along the river. It all looked pretty old, nothing recent that I could see, but it was neat to see all the stumps with chew marks in them, rather than the clean, straight cut of a lumberman's saw.
Here's a close-up of the stump, clearly showing the tooth marks in the wood. This was one of the bigger trees that was felled. Most were only about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. This tree would have been stripped of its upper branches once it was down.
Here's another that didn't quite get finished, but enough damage was done that the tree died, and it's now full of holes and excavations, providing homes for many birds.
I loved the feeling of this place, the quality of the light, the softness of the earth, thick with duff, below my feet--had it been warmer I would have taken my shoes off.
The base of this long-dead tree was strewn about with wood chips, most likely from a pileated woodpecker looking for bugs.
I didn't want to leave this place. The calm of the waters, the gentle sunlight through hazy clouds, a feeling like I was in some kind of fairy forest. I could almost believe that I was somewhere untrammeled by man, that I was alone with the beavers and the birds. Along this river I experienced one of those moments when I feel at one with a place. It's such a fleeting feeling, because as soon as you recognize it, it's gone. It's that moment when there are no thoughts, no conscious "me" but rather a worldly "all", when I am no longer projecting myself onto my surroundings but rather letting my surroundings wash over and within me. It is these moments that I long for, that instant when I am one with the world.