December 11, 2015

Embracing December Fog

Each year, I look forward to December, with its frosty mornings, the glazing over of rivers and marshes, the return of winter water birds, and expectations of first snowflakes.  But with El NiƱo blowing his warm breath our way, we've been feeling the heat more than not this month.  This morning we rose to a thick blanket of fog shrouding the landscape.  Off to Great Meadows I went, to savor the view where the fog hung heaviest over the marsh and river, arriving just in time for daily departures of geese to nearby fields.

The spiderlings have been working overtime these last few weeks, weaving and feasting while the days are calm and comfortable.  Overnight they festooned trailside flowery remains with gossamer, now bejeweled by the fog's misty touch.

Milk parsley (Peucedanum palustre) drapery
Festooned goldenrod
Bejeweled love grass
Down by the river, all is still.  The refuge's newest beaver lodge stands sentry where Buttrick's and Ball's Hills converge at the water's edge.  A mud-packed dome, well fortified, has clear views upstream and down.  The meticulous line of freshly cut branches, carefully rooted in the mud below, extends some ten feet beyond the lodge, an ample larder for the iced over months ahead.

Peace and promise.

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