staying close to land


These days can be ever so quiet.

Some mornings the marsh is filled with geese and gulls, but other days the honks and screeches are far away.

Sparkle and Shadow

A pair of foxes might criss-cross the marsh before dawn, tracing the edges of every island, but leaving no evidence that they found a single mouse to eat.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it

After sunrise, though, a warm blanket slides across the land. If I look close enough I see that some life forms have hardly changed their rhythms.


It’s hard to squeeze through to the logs at the bottom of a thicket, but once there I find rich colours of moss and fungus, soaking up sunlight and holding on to heat as they help this tree become soil again.

Shelf Life (1)

Shelf Life (2)

Shelf Life (3)

In the grasses on a south-facing slope I also find treasures. Wherever I spot one snail shell, it seems, I only have to dig a bit deeper into the matted grass to find several more.

A few snails

Did our gastropods end up here under their own locomotion, I wonder – or do raccoons, skunks, or other creatures favour this flank of the marsh as a picnic ground?

More than a few snails

Perhaps next summer I might return to try to answer that question. But today, as a cold north wind blows over top of the hills, this sheltered slope is a great place simply to savour the sun’s warmth and to savour the sights close to land.