Monday, March 17, 2008

Expedition to the Magic Island

If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see Calvin (near the center of the photo), and Starflower (to the right, about halfway up).

With the snow cover down a bit, and somewhat of a crust over the remaining snow, Sunday was a good day to go exploring. We have a wetland on approximately the eastern 1/3 of our 40 acres that varies from a cattail marsh to an alder/willow shrub swamp with sedges in between. This is great habitat for sedge wrens, frogs, bitterns, and other critters that haven't emerged or returned yet for the spring.

As the name "wetland" implies, most of the time, except in extremely dry years, the ground is too wet to walk on, although it is possible with hip boots or waders. In the winter it is advisable to wear snowshoes to get through the deep snow. (There's a hint for next Christmas; we don't have any usable snowshoes around here!) But, no matter what time of year it is, the swamp makes for difficult walking due to the thick woody brush.

In the middle of all this is a slightly higher spot, indicated in the picture by a young thicket of jack pine and perhaps a white pine to the left. Neither of these are what you'd normally find growing in wetlands. We call it the "island", and it's naturally a good place for a ten year old boy (and eight year old girl) to explore. Calvin wants to build his own cabin out there some day.

I didn't get out there with the kids today, but then again they didn't need my supervision. I was out by the creek watching Mr. Attitude throwing stones. Again. :)


dharma bum said...

That's sweet. I loved finding the kids in the landscape and I know what you mean... there's nothing like a hard-to-get-to spot to get a kid's imagination going. Sounds like a fun early spring day. :)

TheElementary said...

Exploring- I haven't heard that word in a long time. Reminds me of the childhood! And reading this post just reminded me why I like this time of year. Everything is crisp and clean and yes, cold, cold, cold but very beautiful given the right perspective.
Just think of all the tiny creatures you might find if you take a walk in weather like this...

Deb said...

Dharma Bum- Yes, and they walked away from video games and satellite TV for this!

TheElementary- Welcome, and thanks for commenting! I just love their sense of adventure, and yes, this is a good time to be out.