The warning sign about dangerous falls ahead has been defaced. Letters scraped free of their job a canoeist’s life a signifier in the balance. You can drift down slow through this Algonquin afternoon, the sun dappling golden leaves. The water curves pastorally into Ragged Falls. You will be torn apart one of nature’s great moments: death in a second of hang time underwater, without air, words. Signs have been hacked down all over. The tallest trees produce the most shade, the most oxygen for the largest number but they were cut two hundred years ago for Victoria’s navy. Explorers on their ships could smell the pines as they approached North America. It was an entirely different place.