Susan Carol Hauser

Peeping the Bog: April 13, 2014

In Bog-watching on April 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Peeping the Bog: April 13, 2014

The song birds are returning: blackbirds and robins back from their migrations; goldfinches, purple finches, juncos, occasional winter visitors, are back to stay. They come and go from my feeders, back and forth from the oaks and maples on the hillside that are still bereft of any color, the buds of this year’s leaves still cloistered against the intransigence of this particular spring. The bog, too, remains static, though it has swallowed the snow and is certainly harboring, below my line of sight, the insistent shoots of Phalaris arundinacea, reed canary grass.

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Peeping the Bog, April 8, 2014

In Bog-watching on April 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Peeping the Bog, April 8, 2014

Swans on ice. Trumpeter or tundra? Impossible to know at the moment, as they wisely have their bills nestled into their back-feathers. Their camouflage is nearly complete; they are betrayed mostly by the shadows they cast on the ice, and I might have missed them altogether had I not been watching crows on ice, walking around on the bay as though it were a park. They pecked at the snow as they grazed along, perhaps finding some kind of food, though it seems unlikely. At least I know they are crows, not ravens (smaller than ravens, less regal in their presentation). The swans do not parse so easily. Both trumpeter and tundra are known here, sometimes in passing, sometimes in residence. But their distinctions are subtle, slight differences in the bill and the black leading up to the eyes, some difference in their calls, though variations within each species cross over into variations of the other. For today, I let go of my compulsion to identify and let them be just swans, settled onto the frozen water, floating on ice, an act of optimism, a gesture of faith. 

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Peeping the Bog

In Bog-watching on April 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Peeping the Bog: April 7, 2014

Rain last night, slow and gentle, driven only by its own weight and the pull of Earth’s gravity. The sound of it came to me through my dreams, its clean scent through the slightly open window by my bed. All night it rinsed down taking with it into the earth the old snow still lying about the yard, the hill, the bog. When I awoke, it had stopped and the fog that followed it was lifting. Now, mid-morning, I notice movement in the bog, a fox meandering over the snow, nosing into the swaths of old grass, looking for mice. The watercourse is swollen with rain; on the bay, water has replaced yesterday’s yellowed soft spots. The sky is cerulean, a word that begs to be drawn out: ceruuuuleeean. I open the side door to the yard. The air is not warm, not cold. Winter unto spring: cerulean.Image

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