Relive a Memory

The words, “Relive a memory” came to mind. How odd?

My mind started wondering and ended up with when I wrote nature articles for the Saturday edition of several local newspapers. This was in the 90’s. I illustrated every article with an ink drawing.

It didn’t take long to pick out the memory I wanted to relive.

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Bell Pond, a remote cypress swamp.

My son, Keith, went with me. He was 15 years old.

Intermittent rain fell. There were no trails as we followed the water’s edge. Every step was a slurp. One of the first things I saw was a water moccasin. My little red umbrella almost kept my sketchbook and field notebook dry. A bullfrog called. A long dark snake swam effortlessly along the water’s surface. Another snake rolled off a log into the water.

The sky darkened again. This time dark-dark. Thunder was nearing. We picked up our pace as we followed an animal trail, the only trail through here. Suddenly we were in a heavy downpour. I hurried to the water’s edge, not wanting to miss a thing. The area was open with dead trees scattered about and a thick undergrowth of buttonbush. All was grayed by the angled sheeting rain. Occasional lightning  and rolling thunder added to the experience.

We heard bullfrogs. Deer flies found us. Fallen sticks, logs and patches of dense vegetation made walking difficult. Some areas smelled fishy from all the crawdads. The rain finally stopped. I was soaked!

The word dismal must have originated with someone trying to describe a swamp on a rainy day. After 3 1/2 hours of hiking, we were tired and very exhilarated. We couldn’t have had more fun if we had tried.

The swamp was an amazing, intriguing, eerie place for a visit. The weather added even more drama to the wildlife packed wetland community.

I was just glad I didn’t call it home!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Such places are truly a cradle of life.

    Reply

  2. I think the water moccasins might have taken the edge off the fun for me, but I do love a swamp.

    Reply

    • I was quite nervous to say the least. We have another cypress swamp that’s a nature preserve. It even has a floating boardwalk and isn’t as hair-raising experience. I haven’t visited it in years.

      Reply

  3. What fun! Brings back memories myself being outside in the woods in the rain with my kids, laughing and exploring. AND always watching for something that scurried! And my, you draw fantastic, gorgeous, Kathy.

    Reply

    • Thanks. I used to draw a lot when I did weekly newspaper nature articles. And I hiked and camped a lot. Now have slowed down a lot. That swamp was one of the scariest places we went!

      Reply

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