Along the Salt Marsh Trail, it’s easy to see how waterways have formed over time throughout the grassy areas in the middle of the marsh. These waterways fill up and recede with the ebb and flow of the tides. Often, ducks can be found wading in these little rivers.
Over time, rivers of water will form into a shape called a meander as they wear away at the soil along the edges. These meandering rivers are often noticed from the air, but can also be appreciated from ground level, depending on our vantage point.
The meander shape looks a lot like a snake. In fact, snakes use a meandering movement to get from one place to another. I think it’s this movement that gives many of us ‘the creeps’ whenever we are surprised by a snake in the garden. However, the poor snake can’t help how it moves. It’s just doing what comes naturally.
Pictured at left is the bright and beautiful Eastern Smooth Green Snake, found in the Cow Bay area. It’s so strikingly colorful, that it looks like it belongs in a tropical rainforest. I haven’t seen a snake yet this season, but managed to see quite a few Maritime Garter Snakes in the yard last year.
The meander is one of several interesting shapes that are found repeatedly in nature. These shapes often form exquisite patterns and many are building blocks for larger things. In the Saturdays between now and mid-summer’s eve, I’ll explore a number of other shapes found in nature as a lead-up to a Summer Scavenger Hunt. Details of the hunt to be disclosed June 20th. There will be prizes.
For more information on the spring scavenger hunt hosted by Kathy at Opening the door, walking outside, see Let’s have a scavenger hunt! My spring hunt photos and submission can be found at A Spring Scavenger Hunt .