Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge: A Gray Winter Day

It was a cold winter day. I wasn't sure if I had missed the Snow and Ross Geese that migrate through the park but I decided to take a chance. The ride up was a long misty gray highway and it seemed longer than usual.

I needed a bit of nature, even though my backyard is full of chickadees, kinglets, cardinals and bluejays, there are too many distractions. Too many things to do, the television and the daily life struggles, so I went up to Hagerman to escape for a little while.

I wrote this about the seemed like a long endless gray since Christmas

A Soft Morning, the winter breath of hungry ghosts
gnawing at my spine and cortex
it was as if we were both barely alive
me and this gray landscape
all colors given up
all light and character absent
we were both colorless forms

an old oak
shaking off the autumn
the wind rushed through
breaking limbs
leaving scars
but that's what winter does
it breaks us to the bones
leaving a shell that believes
in spring
that remembers color

A soft morning
awake and alive
but my soul asleep
in some gray lake
where the frost keeps the reeds
in winter all we have left
is our skeleton and a force of wind
our will

The Snow Geese were still there, not quite as many as previously, but just as loud and beautiful. They looked more like large white stones as they huddled in masses in the fields. Again they kept their distance but with less cars they all waddled closer to the road to get a drink. 

What I enjoyed the most was the sound of the constant chatter and a new chorus would begin as another ended. I got out of the car to a huge flog that covered the sky as they reshuffled the flock.

Besides the ducks there were many hawks including several kestrels, red-tailed and red shouldered hawks. As I was leaving I got a last glimpse of a hawk scanning a field outside the refuge. 

It was a very cold gray day but I enjoyed the needed escape. I also got some sketches for future paintings as well, so stay tuned. Let me know what  you thought of this post, more poetry? Less?
Did the photographs make you feel like you were there? I would love any input on this post. Have a happy New Year and get out there and enjoy nature.

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