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Archive for the ‘The Salt Marsh Trail’ Category

salt marsh trail between first two bridges

The salt marsh can be a nasty place in the winter.  Even on a sunny day, the wind can be harsh and the salt spray biting.  Regardless of the elements, my grandson and I set out on our adventure on New Year’s Eve along the salt marsh trail, determined to make it at least as far as the first bridge.

The trail was icy in spots and the wind was convincing us to turn back with every step past the shelter of the trees.  However, as we approached the end of the Canada Goose bridge, we caught sight of the first of four bald eagles hunting in the marsh.

eagle flying over salt marsh

Inspired to plod on, we forced ourselves forward in order to get a closer look.

eagles in the salt marsh

We caught sight of one on the next bridge.  It too was clearly fighting the wind, clinging to the wooden bridge rail with its mighty talons.  We ignored the pelting salt spray but the wind kept thrashing us about.  It became more and more difficult to just hold onto the camera, let alone take a decent photograph of our subject.

eagle on bridge

Despite the difficulty, we were quite elated to have had such a close encounter with such a magnificent creature.  Doing hard things has its rewards.

an eagle eyeing us from the bridge

Before flying off, the eagle looked directly towards us.   Wow.  We headed back, glad that we had dared to venture out into the marsh on such a windy day.

heading back from the salt marsh

Later at Tim Horton’s, I wondered if the bald eagles were having duck or fish as we enjoyed our soup and coffee .

Happy New Year to all!  May you always find the joy in doing hard things in the year ahead.

All photographs and text copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2013

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Come to the marsh to see how the rising sun paints the morning sky.  Its palette is bolder than Van Gogh’s and softer than Monet’s.

I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Each morning’s painting is a revelation, presenting a selection of hues never seen together before and certainly never to be seen again.  Not even the rocks can say they’ve seen it all before.  Gray surrenders to blushes of coral and pink.  Clouds only serve to enhance the effect.

Look with your eyes but see with your soul the uniqueness of dawn’s unveiling.

If the sun dawned in the marsh and there was nobody there to see it, would it not still be beautiful?  Perhaps the herons would like to answer that question.

Surely the word ‘awesome’ should be reserved for such reflections of light on water.  Perhaps those who overuse that word these days have never witnessed such a wonder.

No matter how many times  I see the sun painting the morning sky and marsh water, my excitement doesn’t wane.  Somehow, the sun never disappoints, and despite my expectations of spectacular color combinations, I am always marvelously surprised.

These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.
~ Claude Monet

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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The combination of heat and humidity conspires to slow down even the most energetic among us.  During these late summer days, it’s difficult to find the motivation to take on new challenges.  This land snail, however, seemed pretty determined in its early morning attempt to cross the Salt Marsh Trail.

This brown caterpillar seemed to be on a similar quest.  Caterpillars are everywhere these days.  Unfortunately, not all of them are harmless…

The heat and humidity isn’t slowing these down as they gobble their way through the leaves.  Perhaps they’re just quenching their thirst by eating more fresh greens!  Unfortunately, they are damaging fruit trees and many others in their path.  Between their hunger and the dry summer, farmers are warning of rising food prices in the fall.

At least the birds have lots to eat.  A crab isn’t fast enough for a seagull, even in the morning mist.  Many crab shells litter the trail, remnants of seabirds’ breakfasts.

The shell of this green crab is still fairly fresh.  Its color will later lighten in the sunshine.  Though it appears intact, its insides have already been feasted upon by a hungry bird.

Summer’s slow days are perfect for the living to enjoy the warmth of the sun while it lasts.  Hurricane season is right around the corner.  With warm waters in the North Atlantic, who knows what lies ahead?

On these warm humid days, our view of the path before us is often clouded in fog.   Yet, there is magic in the mist, the least of which is the mystery of the unknown that lies ahead.  Perhaps the best we can expect to do is move slowly forward on the path set before us, simply putting one foot in front of the other while hoping for the best.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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The dark silhouettes of trees stand in stark contrast to the awakening sky. Dawn is on its way.

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
~ Anne Lamott

‘Good morning,’ the sun whispers to the earth. ‘It’s time to wake up.’

‘There’s a long, full day ahead, so I thought I’d make the transition smoother with a soft blush of pink.’

The beauty of light is reflected all around us…  if we’re willing to open our eyes to see it.

Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.
~ Rene Daumal

For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.
~ Edwin Way Teale

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New red maple leaves slowly open on a small tree.  Although these red maples are a symbol of Canada, in nature, we usually associate them with the fall season, not the summer.   On a warm morning in July, they stand out in bright contrast to the cool green foliage surrounding them in the forest.

Similarly, red elderberries are easy to see against the backdrop of green.  There are lots of them this year for the birds to enjoy.  It’s unusual to see such a deep red in the woods in the summertime.  Even more unusual to see it in the salt marsh…

In the dawn’s early light, this bright red poppy stands waiting to greet the sun.  Why are poppies growing on this section of the trail between the Bald Eagle and Canada Goose Bridges?  Could this be a clue?

Captain Jefferson Clifford Francis memorial bench

It’s easy to forget what’s important as we go about our busy lives.  Regardless of the season, Nature remembers, even if we don’t.

For more on our connection with poppies see The Earth Remembers.

Captain Jefferson Francis’ memorial page at Military Mom at Home.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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The salt marsh may look calm and peaceful in the pre-dawn light, but there’s always some nasty business afoot that we humans aren’t privy to.  These are good hunting grounds for coyotes, bobcats, weasels and bald eagles.

If the herons saw something last night, they’re keeping it to themselves.

The kingfisher is also mum.  Or is he just more interested in this morning’s breakfast menu?

Surely the crows will talk.  Whether in the woods or the marsh, they can always be depended on to spread the word if there’s a predator lurking in the vicinity.  You can always get the latest buzz from crows.

But not this morning.  If the crows are talking at all, it’s in a whisper for their ears only.  It’s all hush-hush as the sun clears the horizon to announce the new day.  What goes on at night in the marsh stays in the marsh.

It’s just as well.  Today is enough of itself.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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