|Otter tracks at the Concord River on New Year's Da|
Not until winter do we take possession of the whole of our territory.
Thoreau, Journal, 2/13/1859
Moore's Swamp stretches out some 20 acres to the north and east of Concord's historic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Now brimming from rising beaver activity and clogged drainage culverts, the swamp basin gleams with winter ice that's darkened by silhouettes of red maple tip-ups and a tangle of prostrate tree trunks and wetland shrubs. Some 34 empty great blue heron nests tower overhead and underfoot rare turtle and amphibian residents sleep winter away in the mud. As I slid along the open expanses in the waning light of New Year's eve, I wondered what fate 2014 will hold for the swamp and it's rarer inhabitants, see Historic Moore's Swamp in the Crosshairs.
|A frozen allée...the flooded remnant of an historic trail through Moore's Swamp|
|Out the other end, a spot of orange (lower left) in the monochrome swampscape|
|A cinnabar-red polypore mushroom (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus), common but rarely seen|
|Some of the 34 great blue heron nests high above the swamp basin|
New Year's Day brought crisp, clear light to Concord's Great Meadows and it's vast frozen marshland and floodplain forest, giving a new meaning to "glare ice."
|Buttonbush tangle in the floodplain forest|
Not only the earth but the heavens are made our footstool. That is what the phenomenon of ice means. The earth is annually inverted and we walk upon the sky... Thoreau, Journal, 2/12/1860