Hanging Ten on Sapsucker Sastrugi

5 02 2007


In the wan light of late afternoon I happened to gaze out across the open expanse of Sapsucker Woods pond. Wild winds had cut a mean pattern across its face, forming a series of standing waves across the frozen surface. If I squinted just right, the parallel sastrugi resembled nothing less than fine-waled corduroy stacked to the great beyond, a virtual ocean full of waves formed by the same primal force: wind. Gusts buffeted the sanctuary, hollowing the troughs and blowing the eroded snow to rest somewhere further down the line, engulfing the brown stalks of last year’s goldenrod and burying everything in its path. At one point this morning, a female mallard appeared to be its next victim, and the snow slowly built up around her. Eventually her bill arose from its tightly tucked nook amid scapular feathers and led her into the last pocket of frigid open water, oblivious to the whirling tempest that forced the frozen pond into a semblance of motion (and led to visions of the green room for one surf-deprived nuthatch stranded in central NY).




One response

8 02 2007

Wax on Mr. Zog wax on…
I’m envisioning the big snapping turtle below the ice, gazing up at the icy waves overhead, yearning for the thaw…like me.

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