Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The marsh is ever changing, although so subtly that I'm always surprised when the new season appears in full regalia. Such a moment came in early November with the first frost. As the days shorten and the weather cools the marsh slowly gives way to umbers, ochres, and sage greens. The grasses take on a brittle and aged appearance. What in high summer looked like a velvet covering of green inviting enough to lie down in, now looks as if it threatens to prick and tickle. In the strong fall winds the grasses undulate like waves of water. By September the osprey have flown away, Venezuela I've heard, and the Great Blue is once again left in peace to squawk and hunt side by side with the Canada geese. The tupelos shock us with their sudden donning of cadmium red. And the skies are brilliantly blue with dramatic cloud formations. So rising early and opening the shades that November morning I'm greeted with sparkle and dazzle. Every blade of that brittle grass is crystalized and white as snow. The maples have shed all their leaves and each tiny branch holds hard to the frost. Behind them the oaks are just beginning to turn a most red color this year, unlike their usual burnt sienna. The sage grasses along the tree line are soft and truly sage green. And the fragmite wave their frozen fronds.