Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Things are Quiet

The air and water both hover at about the same temperature...not far above freezing.  But, it is calm enough and there is a brilliant sun, so bright that it hurts when I paddle towards it, the sun above and the glare off of the water below. There is no place to shelter my eyes.

It snowed earlier this week.  But it came as fine flour and dry as could be.  So, instead of weighing down the tall standing marsh grasses, it sifted through and left everything as it was.  The spartina has begun to go brown, losing the lush gold of fall, which came behind the green-yellow mixed with reds of late summer.  The thin layer of saltwater ice that clung to the shoreline grass is now slumped...sagging as saltwater ice does, folding over the bank or caught airborne in the grass.  That ice can fold like that is foreign to someone that grew up around freshwater.
bottle eroding from bank - collected

I heard voices when I set out, voices from the center of the marsh, duck hunters most likely.  Rather than search for the missing diagonal passage - I've used it before and for the life of me cannot find it - I paddle a circuit around the outer edges of the marsh.  I find ducks about a mile along, a long way from the hunters.  It's not many, some mallards, some buffleheads, a couple loons by Pepe's Rock, four more loons by Milford Point.  Things are quiet.  Things are cold.  The spartina stands tall.  It is beautiful.

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