Morning Marsh

A day of cloud and sun. Warm; too warm really, although I guess “Ideal for walking a dog.” There have been occasional showers of rain and a persistent blustery breeze is whipping the bare branches.

Yesterday I cleaned up my desk but clutter remains, a constant, if somewhat unwelcome, companion. Of course much of the clutter is composed of things I believe I actually need, or might need at some point and don’t dare do away with. The, too, there is the pack rat aspect of being an artist, the need for stimuli to encourage the imagination.

That reminds me: way back in art grad school I had a friend who was researching pack rats. My friend would locate burrows and drag up the contents, hopefully sans snakes and scorpions. The contents of those burrows provided him with an endless supply of engaging, just barely believable stories. He loved his work and happily took the risk of constantly being on antibiotics to thwart the Plague which in the southwest is carried by rats.

Speaking of rats, or rather, their cousins the mice, downstairs the cat is asleep on the small sofa. She has taken to being up much of the night, on patrol for mice and other things that are not as they should be. Last night she woke me because a light on a timer came on when it should not have. I found her sitting up in her chair, attention split between the rogue light and me.

Our local salt marsh, a vast network of water and reeds with a backdrop of leafless deciduous trees and soft green conifers on the far edge, is increasingly deserted. I stopped by briefly this morning to see whether I might find some waterfowl other than seagulls on its waters. All was quiet, nary a seagull or other creature in sight, in part because I arrived a bit late for the morning feeding. The sun remained low on the horizon and the light was weak at best. Still the marsh looked and smelled beautiful in that pungent way that is unique among ecosystems.

I arrived at high tide. The water had filled all the small channels and broadened some so they gathered into a good sized pond. The waters were a rich deep ultramarine blue that sung the clear places in the otherwise overcast sky. The wind was down and the water lay flat and glimmering as if recently arisen from a luxurious night’s slumber, ready to assume the vital tasks of the day.

The turnouts in the beach road held only a scant scattering of cars, their occupants mostly still inside and facing the bay. I think there might be three types of people: the ones who focus on the marsh; the ones who prefer the bay; and that third group who notice nothing as they fly along the road.

For a few minutes I had the marsh, that place of unimaginable fecundity, to myself. The morning was lovely and the silence deep, but I had chores to see to, so I soon set off on some errands and then home.

8 thoughts on “Morning Marsh

  1. A place of beauty to return to throughout the different seasons. Enjoyed the story of your friend. A brave soul! We, too, are trying to declutter, with only modest results.

    1. Oi! Laurie, the decluttering is transient at best, so we have turned our attention to putting up our festive winter lights…..

      Yes, I love the salt marsh in all seasons. It is a truly magical place, even as much of that magic is often out of sight.

  2. Thanks for sharing your time in the salt marsh. I long to spend some time with my camera along roads bordering winter fields and marshes. We have had some beautiful mornings but so many of my mornings are taken up with medical appointments and when I have free mornings the clouds are heavy. I love the light with the winter sun low in the southern sky.

    1. Pat, we have yet to see winter except fleetingly. That has meant opportunities to photograph in some comfort but also a worrying lack of chill.

      At the moment I have few medical appointments. How are you?

      1. As of today doctors are monitoring several potential problems with thyroid, bone density, main heart artery, and spots on my lungs. I have so many appointments in December because we are in FL for 5 months. I have also spent a lot of time in the dentist office because I needed a root canal & new crown (plus cleaning) crammed into December. Nothing life threatening but it sometimes feels overwhelming just because it is compressed into one month. And it reminds me that I am getting close to 80 and my body has served me well for all those years but is not wearing out. I am thankful for the medical advances that have taken place in my lifetime that make it possible for me to continue to have a good life.

      2. Pat, I hope that all turns out well. Yes, without the medical advances in our lifetimes I most likely would not be here. Something else to be thankful for indeed.

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