February 17, 2010

River Ice Marvels

Living in Musketaquid, place of the Great Meadow, where water has her way with the land, I marvel at the daily, light filled transformations along the shoreline.  Mid-February might well be celebrated as an annual festival of ice.  Improbable forms and justapositions of frozen waterflows glint and gleam as they embrace the land and forest, creating a light-filled wonderland.  There are rhythms and patterns to this frozen landscape that reflect the special signature of our Concord winters, the current and bend of the river, the rise and fall of water and temperature, and the angled clarity of light.  What we see gives physical testimony to winter's progress.

While flowers continue to slumber, dress yourself warmly and venture down to the riverside to marvel at the ice.  Walk slowly and look into, around, and under the frozen sheets and levitating bergs and be prepared for revelations!

Winter mysteries - Whose piles are these?

On our monthly walk last Saturday (2/13), Rick Sherrill mentioned having seen numerous small dark piles on the ice somewhat near the newest beaver lodge.  They appeared to be mud or scat covered over with either urine or castor oil that flowed down and stained the ice.  Included here are two photos of the same 'sign' that Rick took along the water in Westford.  Some thought these might be beaver scent piles, but references show those are mud and debris piles, a bit larger, and strong smelling.  Any thoughts on who left these?

February 8, 2010

Winter Walk at Great Meadows - Saturday, February 13, 9-11 am

A continuing series of monthly walks exploring the landscape,plants, and seasonal wonders of Great Meadows in Concord. The interplay of snow, ice, wind, sunlight, and wild ramblers continually reshape the winter landscape. We'll explore the ephemeral beauty of frozen forms and changing light along the trail. Bundle up and wear appropriate footgear for prevailing conditions.

No pre-registration required. A $5/person voluntary donation will be gratefully accepted.

Led by Cherrie Corey, local naturalist, botanist, and photographer

Co-sponsored by Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program and Friends of the Assabet River NWR.

Meet at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA. Take Monsen Road, off Rte. 62 to the driveway on left where the road curves right.