Monday, December 29, 2008

Beyond Xenia

North, beyond the flat fields, where the stubble of corn stalks left standing fades to blond beneath a bright winter sun, and silver-roofed silos stand as sentries beside small, clean brick houses of the dozing mid-western farms, the historic town of Xenia welcomes rural travelers. Its stately, old city buildings, the picture of the picture-perfect town.
And beyond Xenia, on a bright and breezy day, we revisited the Fen.

Boardwalk trail of Seibenthaler Fen

From the edge of the nearly mile-long boardwalk, cottonwoods and sycamores stand in swamps that line the banks of the parallel waters of Big Beaver Creek. But, soon the planks turn and set out across the sedge meadows, small puddles of the cool, clear water from the aquifer below, seeping through to the spaces beneath our feet.

The marshes are a tangle of browns now. The dense summer greens, gone.
Cattails stand in great groups, their fine, downy droppings gathering in piles along the trail, keeping just ahead of the brisk breeze carrying us along. Dock, its sturdy, lined stem of deep rusty tones is backlit by the afternoon sun.
The fruits of Swamp rose and stems of Dogwood, shine as bright reds.
And the Willows, in deep, golden yellows.

View across Sedge Meadow

Rose Hips


Dock stem and seeds
Rumex sp.

Golden stems of Willow beside the marsh

Scattered among the brown,
the colors of winter.
Such a fine greeting to visitors here.

Big Beaver Creek
December 2008

Big Beaver Creek
May 2008

Delicate seeded stems
beside marsh trail

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hitch writer said...

All wonderful pics but the last two pics are particularly beautiful !!!! its nature's artwork !!

Cynthia said...

Beautiful quiet atmosphere...I walked through fine downy piles yesterday too, only it was my futon stuffing completely torn out my the your walks through nature.

nina said...

Gosh, Cynthia, your puppies must be a handful!
First the gas line, now furniture!
What breed are they?

Lynne said...

I'm drawn to the shades of brown and gray. Soft and quiet.

Sally said...

Great post, Nina... may I include it in today's Berry-Go-Round at Foothills Fancies?

nina said...

Sure, Sally--Glad to have something to contribute!

swamp4me said...

Your three rose hips look like three queens, with really tall crowns, sitting together for a chat.

Margaret Cloud said...

Nina that was a great post, I loved the pictures, it is like I went on a walk with you. We have a boardwalk on a nature trail that is almost like yours. Have a Happy New Year.

RuneE said...

What luck to have a place-name that starts with an X in Latin letters!

(BTW dose the name mean "Strange place" or something?)

NCmountainwoman said...

You have such a wonderful knack of making everyday life turn beautiful. I love the winter atmosphere at the Fen.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos and poetical descriptions !

bobbie said...

A "fen" and a "sedge meadow". How delightfully old fashioned sounding. Your pictures are really lovely.

anthonynorth said...

It sound an isolated but beautiful place. The photos are certainly stunning.

photowannabe said...

Very poetic and the photos are so lovely. Xenia looks like a wonderful place to visit.

Life with Kaishon said...

City of Hospitality : ). I just love that! I think God wants us to be hospitable every day! Sometimes it is easy to forget that when we are hustling and bustling about : ). Happy New Year!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I don't know which is more beautiful.... your photos or your prose!

Mary said...

I'd like to be able to name every stem, thorn, and leaf like you do, Nina. You name them with such flair!

Lovely photos, esp. the last two :o)

starnitesky said...

What a beautiful place to visit in any season, the last two photos are superb, so delicate.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Every photo is spectacular. What a great place; thanks for s haring it with us!

Anonymous said...

Lovely. The seeded stems are my favorite, too.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Another beautiful journey, Nita, in both words and photos. Thanks for taking us along.

Leslie: said...

Gosh thanks for the virtual tour of Xenia and the surrounding area. Beautiful photos! Have a happy New Year!

Cynthia said...

My puppies are pure-bred straight from the streets of Puerto Rico.
They look like a lab-shepard-collie mix! Right now, Michelle is barking incessently because of the pre-New Year's Eve celebration shots. Charlotte and Miss Nellie are hiding under the benches. Fern keeps chewing the old DVD covers that were set outside in a New Year's cleaning project. They're gone...let her have them. I wish people wouldn't make so much noise. The timid dogs go through an annual crisis. It's a good thing we have a large fenced-in yard or they might take off.

Cynthia said...

Incessantly, ugh, I can't see my mistakes until they're completely public- it's so hard to proof in a little box on the computer! ha

babooshka said...

A beautiful virtual journey for the final abce of the year.

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Such beauty and illuminating words...I love the "seasons turning" photos!

Rose said...

Beautiful photos, Nina, but as always I enjoy your lyrical narrative just as much.
I'm not sure I've ever driven through Xenia, but it sounds like a very picturesque town to visit.

Susan Gets Native said...

I love the comparison of Big Beaver Creek in the different seasons! That's cool.

I've never been to the Fen. It's not so far away from us, is it? Better put that on my list of places around here to go visit.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these gorgeous pictures and the poetic text, Nina! I really feel as though I have visited this place, and it is so beautiful!

On another note...I just got tagged for a meme, & I am going to tag you. But there is no obligation at all! Please only do it if you have the time and interest!

Wren tagged me for the “Six Random Things” meme. So, here goes!

Here are the rules for Six Random Things:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

That's it for the meme!

Thanks again for the beautiful post, Nina, and I wish you and all your family a very Happy New Year!


naturglede said...

I love that!Wish you a very Happy New Year!

nina said...

The Siebenthaler Fen is part of the (metro-Dayton) Beaver Creek Wetlands "Complex,"--a must-see for anyone in this area, Susan, like you and me. Although on this winter day we only saw the common winter birds (woodpeckers, chickadees, ..) this is where Julie Z. showed me my first Chat last spring. We meant to return for the wonderful butterflies that have their host plants in the sedge meadow in mid-summer, but never made it. We chose it today, because even after the heavy rains, the boardwalk means the trails won't be a muddy mess.

Carolyn H said...


I love a good marsh (or even a not great one). I see them infrequently. Where I live, there aren't really any. I have to travel north or northwest or even east to get to one. Thanks for sharing yours!

Carolyn H.

Dragonstar said...

X-ellent X, and a totally beautiful post - both in pictures and words. Thank you so much.

Happy New Year from the ABC team!

Pam said...

A great post Nina. You have been an inspiration. I have given your site a mention on my blog, I hope you don't mind.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beautiful and tranquil. Your words are as lovley as the photos, Nina!