Do you remember yesterday’s dilemma? To seek the wild morel mushroom in the woods or sit at home with a headache?
You will be pleased to know that I opted for the morel hunt. Headed out for the sacred grounds and found…one lousy morel. One. That’s all. It is sad. We shall saute that lone mushroom with other vegetables tonight. It will taste like chicken amidst the brocoli and peppers. But you will have to chew very carefully to catch the single morel amidst the array of sizzling vegetables.
One of these years we shall find twenty or thirty morel mushrooms again. (But, Kathy, don’t give up hope yet! It still might happen this year! Don’t lose hope so easily! It still is early in the spring. It is.)
Since the morel mushroom venture did not pan out (literally!) I opted to drive to a nearby swamp. Let’s visit the springtime swamp and sit there amidst the red winged blackbirds and contemplate Life.
The first gift the swamp offered: a flapping of wings as the great sandhill crane flew overhead. YES!! And the camera actually caught its grace! I was happier than happy. The swamp is a lovely place to visit. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I headed toward a good Sitting Place. You know the qualities of a good Sitting Place. It’s a spot where you can survey the watery landscapes without getting soaked.
If you find such a spot, settle down and let your thoughts wander for a while. Be thankful the mosquitoes or black flies aren’t out yet. (This is why you always visit the swamp in the spring!)
Suddenly, from the midst of your Swamp Meditation you blink! What’s that in the nearby waters? What is paddling toward you? Is it an otter? Is it a beaver? What animal comes there??
Ohmygoodness, it’s a beaver! Your heart is suddenly pounding in delight. A beaver has graced your afternoon! And now it will grace the afternoon of everyone who stops by your blog. You grin from ear to ear. In the midst of your grinning, the beaver suddenly hesitates. It smells something strange: human. Danger! It turns quickly and heads off in the other direction.
That’s when you–I mean, me–suddenly have a wild and crazy urge to strike off into the swamps. To wade through the swampy waters, following the beaver wherever it may lead. Perhaps to even swim through the swamp waters!
When suddenly I remembered myself and thought, “No, Kathy, are you crazy? We are certainly NOT wading and swimming through the swamps. NO. You are a civilized human being. Instead let’s try to penetrate the swamp on top of the grasses. C’mon, let’s try!”
So I followed the swamp grasses, oh-so-carefully, penetrating deeper into the swamp, careful not to fall in until—OOPS! Kind of slipped! Wet foot! But, looking ahead, there is the beaver den. And there is the beaver again, swimming out of his home! Oh, it’s a wonderful day to be alive.
I want to tell you what I brought home from this visit to the swamp. (OK, not all of them came home. Most of them were picked off immediately.) You know “What goes there in the swamps?”
Wood ticks. Dozens of them. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Enough to give you nightmares. I picked off somewhere between 20 and 35 of the crawling little fellas. I stripped and bathed afterward but it wasn’t enough.
One attached and bit my tummy. It’s still itching today… Alas. Spring in the Upper Peninsula…
But it was worth it to see the sandhill crane and the beaver! Don’t you think?