Posted by: pilgrm34 | July 16, 2011

the adventure begins…

July 7, 2011 early early morning:
As I arise, Smith-Bybee Wetland seems like the place to be. In the 3-4 mile bike trip there are many trucks whizzing by but the minute I cross through the narrow cement opening to the Wetland road, it is another realm. The scent of cottonwood trees is powerful then a shock to see the water so high under the trees.

high water

There is mostly blue sky, swallows sailing high in all directions and a heron slowly glides by low with Pterodactyl dignity. With its long neck folded back and long beak it looks the part. Cottonwood leaves lightly rustle and move like small flags in the breeze, flashing dark on one side light on the other. If it’s possible for trees to be happy, they are. Though usually deemed junk trees, perhaps they were meant to be enjoyed and admired. I do as I glide along their whole towering frontline for a mile. They have amazing qualities for soaking up water that would kill most trees. I breathe deep their perfume on the breeze until noticing spent fireworks all along the road. A jarring sight. I wonder what mayhem occurred here a few nights ago in the name of independence. Ironically, independence is a large part of wilderness tradition in spiritual texts from Hebrew Scripture to Christian. Why is it so easy to forget our radical spiritual beginnings?

Though I wonder if it’s possible to meditate on just one element of nature like cottonwood trees, the shear abundant diversity here is joyful. Electric blue damsel flies are hunting the dried grasses, wildflowers near the road. Two Osprey are flying and calling in unison circling a nest on top of a power pole. I realize a few hours later that I’ve forgotten about time and it’s still morning.

July 8, 2011 morning

Smith-Bybee Wetland again. I walk the path on the spit between the two lakes which the high water has made more like a dock in places. My presence frightened two hunting, stock still and invisible Great Blue Herons, but I’m not sure who was more startled. For such stunningly quiet animals when hunting, they create an amazing clamor when disturbed, crying out in a loud Pterodactyl scream for several minutes as they fly away and scare everything in earshot. I also frightened an Osprey parent who was about to fly overhead. She stopped and flapping in mid flight, looked in my direction under the trees and wheeled around. It makes me wonder sadly about how to be with urban nature when we stress wildlife with our presence. Are they correct in their assessment?

blind surrounded by high water



  1. Great pictures, great content, Barbara.

  2. Thanks! More to come…

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