Does Aki prefer the one note song of a varied thrush or robin’s happy refrain? She wouldn’t tell me even if I asked, which is impossible at the moment because she is off investigating a patch of grass 50 meters away. We are moving through dense alder brush on the way to the Mendenhall River. The woods hide what sounds like hundreds of birds, each singing a carnal song of spring. Aki, neutered long ago, ignores the din. I stop on a patch of trail temporality flooded with morning light and search without success for the choir. “Why,” I wonder, “Do we say we taught our children about the birds and the bees by explaining the mechanics of human procreation?” Aki and I know there are birds in these woods singing for a mate and others doing what is necessary to continue their bloodline. But I’ve never seen a bird, let along a bee, do it. Well, there was that time when I saw two eagles lock talons and tumble toward the ground. But trees blocked my view of their final descent so I never learned whether they consummated their love before striking the ground.