Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Reflections and the Seduction of the Cedar Swamp

A cedar swamp. For some it is a fearful place to shun, a devil's hole of thick muck, quivering soils, strange and nasty plants, hidden creatures and a degree of partial darkness that seems to linger well past dawn . In northern Oakland County the few cedar swamps that remain entact are vibrant living footprints of the last glacial retreat. Some humans no nothing of them. Others look at them as wet wastelands. But for me these swamps of wild things and cedars and tamaracks are a siren song of  wilderness, a seductive and beautiful temptress that draws me in and holds my fascination. And so, early on this 9/11 morning  of remembrance and reflection I paid a solitary visit to one of our county's swamps. Just as I prepared to leave Terra firma - and spooked  a flock of wild turkeys in the process  - I came upon  fresh evidence of wildlife preparing for seasonal changes in the hours just before dawn.  A beaver had dropped another aspen to gather small limbs for an underwater winter pantry. And just a few feet away a buck had created a 'rub' on a tree to establish his  territorial claim of land ownership and dominance. I continued silently along on a well worn deer trail through a grove of cedars rich with scent on this overcast morning and  came to a stop at a ring of tamaracks. I smiled as I stood  at the edge of the wetland;  a place that is part bog, part lake, part river headwaters with the knowledge that in a bustling county of over 1,200,000 people such wild places exist.  And for a few minutes as I watched the reflection of cedars shimmering in the dark water beneath a cloudy sky I forgot about 9/11 and those moments of  horror 9 years ago.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful writing....

September 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM 

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