Susan Carol Hauser

Peeping the Bog: March 19, 2014

In Bog-watching on March 20, 2014 at 12:55 am

It is unreasonable to wish for snow to melt, the bay to open, the bright little birds to return now, now, now. The winter cannot be said to be long; it is only mid-March. The sap, as always at this time of year, makes tentative runs up the maple trees. If I went out and drilled and put in taps, on warm days, temps above 40, the sap would take that easy road and would spill out, filling the pail that I hung there—ping, pinging until the bottom of the pail was covered, then one drop after another entering silently the gathering sweet. But that would be maybe one day out of two, or even one day a week, if the temperature did its usual March yo-yo, up and down, down and up, responding not to desire or hope, not to the virtual warmth of a bright sun, or a blue sky, or the chickadee’s elongated plaintive spring song, so different from its winter dee dee dee, but responding only to the actual heat of the actual sun and to the actual warming deep down in the earth, brought on by the change in the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun.

Out on the bay, the  watercourse migrates forward and outward, its clear, thin, brown line spreading like a delta, like a hand opening palm up. Its northerly trajectory is clear, not yet obscured by the remnants of last year’s grasses and reeds that are also visible now as the snow continues its laconic conversion to water, settling out of sight beneath the bog mat. The snow on land also yields to the double warmth of ground and sun: dark circles spread out around the bases of the big trees, and a long, brown stretch of grass limns the top line of the hill.

New bird songs today. The blue jay is back, and the flicker, their sharp tongues calling me out. The setting sun splashes a river of actual hard light onto the bog. Ping, it says to me. Ping, ping, then it softens as the sun drops away and everything—the  watercourse, the grasses, the light, the birds, everything is so still. I step outside to make sure that is true – is it all really so still. I hold my breath a moment, close my eyes. Yes: it is quiet, though I believe I can hear a gathering sweet.Image

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  1. I love reading and being with you every word on paper Especially the drip-drips of the syrup.

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