Ponderings From the Edge: Winter’s Quiet

Botany at Rest

I don’t think I’ve published a blog since 2020 and I have a lot to say. Today I am thinking about how cold it is. It is winter after all, so it should be, right? Here in rural South Carolina, it is a time to think, to plan, to rest and to prepare for the craziness that will explode in the spring. It is quiet here now. So quiet that there is space to notice the white light of the sun as it moves up the South Edisto River. So quiet that I notice that the dormant marsh grass is a warmer gray on one side of the bridge and cooler gray on the other. If I use the binoculars, I can see the near shore where at low tide, a colony of white pelicans sits in the sun. A few feet down but on the same side, a flock of ibis sit, soaking it in like solar panels until the tide turns them out to wherever they go next. The mergansers float in the creek, safe from hunters for now. The occasional eagle cruises overhead. He missed the great migration. He’s not sure where everyone has gone but he’s not going hungry here so I suppose he sees no reason to leave. I’m good with that.

I pack up my rolling cart and walk to the swamp on the other side of the pond. The trees have shed their leaves and everything is still. The occasional woodpecker provides the only noise. The white light of the setting sun makes the duckweed look like snow. This place is timeless, but in no time, it’ll be spring and I won’t be able to see the trees for the forest.