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水面から飛び立つ鳥は努めてあとを濁さないように。 Sentence from jisho for 努めて. Can anyone help clarify what the あと here means?

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This あと is 後 (or 跡) in kanji. It has several meanings, but in this case it vaguely refers to "something left behind" or "the situation of a place after you left it". More concretely, あと in this sentence refers to a swamp where migrating birds have been staying. Note that this example sentence is taken from this well-known idiom.

Other examples:

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