The allure of ‘impervious and quaking swamps’
“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.”
-Henry David Thoreau
A winter swamp isn’t without beauty, but nothing matches the splendor of a wetland in spring and summer.
As temperatures reached the mid-60s this past weekend, area swamps showed visible signs of coming to life. Turtles swam beneath the surface, cottontails scampered about and a Cooper’s Hawk eyed a potential meal.
In one small puddle hundreds of tadpoles, newly hatched and not more than a quarter-inch long, swam herky-jerky in the shallow clear water while their parents’ croakings filled the evening air with a pleasing melody.
Most of the plant life has not yet awoken from the winter slumber, so the bluebirds and cardinals that flitted among the brown grasses and dried cattails presented a striking contrast.
And the pale purple of wild violets edging up along the water’s edge offered a glimpse of the beauty that will soon explode in the coming weeks, evidence of nature’s rejuvenation.