Boats in the harbor at Daajing Giids, protected from winds by the outside dock where National Geographic Sea Lion is tied, are mirrored almost perfectly. At the top of a nearby mast, a red maple leaf gently ripples. At the end of the dock, young ravens, still red in the mouth, comedically mimic nearby crows, each squawk wavering between caw and croak like a young Peter Brady with a changing voice.

We have a rare few hours this morning to wander on our own, and several of us choose the road along the shore where blackberry, snowberry, huckleberry, blackthorn, and honeysuckle—all bearing ripe fruit—form a wall of alternating delectability and virulence, temptation and repulsion, nativeness and invasiveness.

Near the edge of the berries, orb weavers spread their nets, challenging the squeamish arachnophobes desirous of juicy, late-summer treats.

On the other side of the thorny thicket, a solitary, statuesque great blue heron poses behind a dozen peeping black oystercatchers surrounded by a couple scores of crows, all sharing the delights of a low tide.

It is a perfect morning in Daajing Giids.