The Swamp

By , August 28, 2011

If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, it’s August’s new moon, time to read Swamp.

When we talk of “the swamp” on the homestead, we’re referring to a muskeg bog on the property to the south of us. It’s important to us because it feeds the small partial-year creek from which we get our summer water. We also value it for other reasons. As Aly prepares to leave for college, she’s developed a “bucket list” of things she wants to do beforehand. Visiting the swamp, one of her favorite places, was high on the list.

young moose in swamp

A young moose visits “the swamp” and gets his photo taken with Aly’s game camera (Photo: Aly Zeiger).

We stopped by there on a recent mushroom hunt to have a look around. It had recently begun to refill with rainwater after being dry for a long time. We “island hopped” from hummock to hummock, or crossed small plank bridges laid down by the man who built our homestead. We checked the moose trackways through the deep mud. Moose come here often, and may use it as a nursery. We’ve seen bear tracks as well, which is why Aly sets up her game camera there sometimes.

We also find a few berries, and visit the handful of wild crab apple trees that bear fruit some years, but it never seems to ripen.

Mostly, I think our attraction to the swamp comes from its gnarled trees and moss-grown, twisted root wads. It looks like something Dr. Suess would have illustrated.

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