Susan Carol Hauser

Bog Watching: April 28, 2014

In Bog-watching on April 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

April 28, 2014

Yesterday the ice in the bay began to yield to the season: a narrow highway of water opened along the shore. I could discern on the far side of the bay swans bobbling in the flow. Close by, an otter, glimmering, sleek and black, appeared at the edge of the bog mat, grubbing in the peat muck. The gray ice that still commanded most of the bay had lost its integrity and rose and fell almost imperceptibly, as though breathing. Last night the wind came on strong. This morning, the bay is half-open, the sugary ice pushed now to one side and even up onto land in dense, white heaps. I have not seen the otter yet, but three swans circled above the water as though they would land, then rose again and left, clattering in alarm. As they disappeared, a bald eagle entered their space, cruised the bog, then also left. As though pulled in by the eagle’s departure, a solitary sandhill crane appeared over the bay, a brown arrow splitting the air with its chortling call and coming straight toward my shore. Instead of turning to follow the bog, it rose on the wind, skimming the tops of the trees on the hillside, showing me its underbelly, its laughter lingering after it was gone. Now, for a moment, the sky is empty again and silent except for the wind that is still working at that ice.

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