Sunday 25 January 2015. Light Winter Rain

This morning at 6:50 it was, according to my weather ap, 34 degrees F. The sky was a pretty uniform light grey, and light rain was falling. This winter has been characterized by ice. A lot of freeze-thaw-freeze.

Headed for Meadowbrook Park a little reluctant to get the camera out in the rain, but early on it seemed necessary to do so: spotted a dark, shrunken apple on “my” tree.

Made it all the way to the rabbit-statue bridge over McCullough Creek without stopping, though was almost caught by the “wonky Christmas tree.

The water was high in McCullough and flowing from Davis Creek.

Liked how the rain ruffled the reflection of the walnut tree near the bridge.

The rain and clouds seemed to keep animal activity to a minimum; saw no deer and few birds. Today this chilly, damp weather felt like a blanket, a source of calm even protection. It had a pleasant muting effect. Sometimes what’s need is commotion and activity; sometimes calm and quiet. Even before anything is resolved.

Mostly was able to resist photographing the muted landscape, though did like the clinging, curled burr oak leaves.

Farther along, the pale yellow-brown, dry prairie grass was punctuated by Baptisia pods and bush clover seed heads, which I mostly did not stop for. But one old Baptisia plant stood so upright and intact I gave in to the urge to record it.

Stopped at the Windsor/Vine Bridge and saw a pair of mallard ducks scurrying away. Wondered whether there were a lot of duck predators (coyotes?) around, they were so skittish.

Turned left to take part of the “small loop” and check the alder trees the beavers used to chew on along the creek.

Remembered this site from when beavers felled lots of these trees and in winter chewed the bark to reveal the bright orange cambium. (Here is a photo from January 2013 for comparison.)

No beavers seemed to be chewing on the alders this winter. Noticed the growth of shoots around the stump of a beaver-felled tree as well as an apparent increase in diameter of the remaining trunks.

So often we seem to miss the process, the details of change. There is wonder and joy on catching the in-between stages.

The light rain continued as I took the turn to the north, between the prairie within the “small loop” and the encroaching Clark-Lindsay Village.

We nature-lovers abhor the loss of habitat, or even of buffer zones between habitat and human activity. But I will be glad that some people, maybe some with limited mobility, will be able to look out their window and see the seasons change in Meadowbrook Park. Hope they’ll know what a privilege it will be.


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