Where do I go when I miss that squish?
To the Fen!
Where, even in this dry spring, coolness seeps through the slats of a plastic boardwalk trail, winding its way across this wetland, fed from below by a shallow aquifer.
Beyond its boundaries, what must be vernal pools—for I hear wood frogs calling strongly in the distance, even in the daylight of this warm afternoon.
These woods of the fen, though, are mostly quiet, and I walk past the large pools of dark water, so still and reflective, hugging the tall, wide trunks of the Cottonwood trees.
Until, at the edge, I step out into a stand of Cattails, and the sleepy, slow pace of the woods is left behind. From all around, wild excitement, as Red-winged Blackbirds noisily call in the sunshine. And masses of slender, brightly colored stems, explode with flowers both dainty and bold.
Their feet in cool, clean water--Pussy willows.
The exuberance of one who will never know thirst.
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