The dry days of summer, this year have not come.
Even now, my path to the pond and beyond remains a winding one—
taking the higher ground, hugging the fence line as it reaches toward the field behind the barn—
never coursing straight across, for the lush green grass of an April day grows there still.
And through the blades, where each step would be quickly consumed, the heat of the day dances in small flashes of light, on inky puddles.
A crack has grown in the center of the gravel drive.
From a small trickle weeks ago, with each deluge, carving a deeper path down our hill, as the waters race toward the small stream roaring across the road. Removing one stone after another, widening the wash. Until a small canyon now welcomes our guests at the road’s edge.
But the higher waters can carry us , too.
deeper than ever before,
into creek beds we’ve never explored.
Beyond the gravel bars that, on most August days, jut from the water—
draw a line you may not cross.
Here, with its only access the water,
a celebration seldom seen—
those flowers of the hidden summer streamside.
In a mass of roots on an exposed bank, a 4-foot long Northern Water Snake was well-hidden, too.
It looks as if he's chosen the roughness there to slough off his outgrown skin.
Can you see it beginning to loosen from the top of his head?