Promiscuity

Fog. It did not go below freezing last night and now it smells like spring which makes everything and everyone do a happy dance. Because this time it’s for real.

Yesterday’s half inch of rain happily wriggled its way down the snow still covering most everywhere, puddles on rock-hard frozen earth. Snow melts, ice melts. All that water promiscuously mingles with freezer-burned soil. It in turn happily releases geosmin, an organic compound created by thready pre-fungal microorganisms that among other things make streptomycin. The smell of geosmin is called petrichor, which you can also smell in the desert after it rains. Combine  petrichor with cool humidity and the tweeting of birds on the feeder and voila!, the smell of spring.

The hound and I skip down to the bog to check out what’s doing today. If you can skip on snow shoes. I will need them in the bog, where a deep hole silently witnesses the carpenter’s sinking into the snow up to his thigh last night.

The water is winning now. I wade through 3 inches of slush on top of the ice, carefully trucking from hummock to hummock, avoiding any expanses over water. I wonder briefly whether the designer of my new snow shoes has envisioned them being used to negotiate a flooding bog. Here in the open and in the rapid melting that made fog, some super-local quick cooling created weird and fragile toothed ice picks the likes of which I have never seen before.

In the diffuse light and with the warm sun on my neck, all hurry of frost, icy rain, and whatever else is so necessary recedes. Every beaver dam brings a small waterfall with its own rushing and tinkling. Ducks fly up, crows crow, hound splashes.

8 thoughts on “Promiscuity

  1. It’s beginning to look a lot like…..? The sound effects were a great addition – very soothing after reading email from environmental orgs.
    However, I think your bog is technically a marsh. So what, it’s beautiful throughout the year! Thanks for sharing it.

    1. The water is winning, alright, despite this small interlude of snow. You always get me, you naturalists — I grew up in bog country so to me I guess all marches mostly seem like bogs. Swamp? When we bought the place we called it three dumps and a swamp… LEt;s hope we get enough for one last ski.

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