Susan Carol Hauser

Peeping the Bog: March 23, 2014

In Bog-watching on March 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I was gone for three days, 200 miles south, less than three degrees on the latitude. I witnessed there evidence of spring’s crawl northward: the water of the Mississippi River free of ice, persistent in its pursuit of sea level; flocks of Canada geese clattering across the sky; memory of snow erased by incipient green in yards and boulevards; the sun spilling warmth and pleasure onto our upturned, happy faces. Had joy not been possible with ice on the streets and temperatures that freeze skin as easily as water?

At home, while I was away, there was snow and today the temperature is 10 above, 20 degrees warmer than the middle of last night, not an unusual separation. When I went to bed, the stars were as clear as dimes tossed out into bright sunlight and this morning the sunlight itself glitters (how else can I say it?) on the wet, new snow. The watercourse in the bog has gone undercover and the rim of the bay is betrayed only by the rim of canary grass and cattails that denote the margin.

As I write, a bald eagle interrupts the sky, dropping down to con the bog. I am witness to a confusion of light: it drops down from the sun, rises up from the snow, travels in glancing blows with the eagle across the field of my vision. I suppose the eagle is looking for mice or something else foolish enough to expose itself on the snow field. I turn my head to follow it, lift out of my chair and lean toward the window to keep it longer in sight, but it is gone as suddenly as it appeared, as though crystallized out of the bright blue sky and then dissipated back into air, the way spring seems to come and go and yet is there.

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  1. The trees are so naked. I look forward to sprouting leaves, May flowers, and mosquitos.

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