Skip to main content

Evening in the swamp...

Light begins to fade, and darkness creeps in
Just as water crept into this timber
After the beaver dams backed up the flow
Of what was a small stream, clear and flowing
Pines go first, rotting until the tops break,
Falling into a tangle of thick vines
The poplars, waterlogged and leaning
Soon they will be hollow, providing homes
For screech owls and wood ducks, and the raccoon
That left the seedy droppings on this log
I am standing on to get a better view
Of all that is happening in these woods
Order from chaos, from death comes life
The circle is eternal, everything changes
From woodland to wetland, the cycle goes
One dies off and another one is born
Abundant waterfowl now calls this home
Where the squirrels once buried acorns,
The water is two feet deep and rising
I would have to wade to my deer stand now
My beloved holly, she's a leaning
Before long, she too will fall over
The timber is dying off in a swath
The once thick canopy, now open sky
Only the skeletons of big trees remain
I hear the mallards calling, flying in
Their number, I'm sure, in the hundreds,
Most ducks I've seen at one time
There's no waterfowl hunting aloud here,
And these ducks must know they are safe
Soon the frog songs will begin in this swamp
And I will paddle through the obstacles
That I once had to weave through on foot
When the bream move into old stump holes
That I used to step in, up to my hip
To fish among the tree trunks where I would sit,
Many a days on dry logs, pondering life,
Now I can float and contemplate my place
In the universe, the earth, and this swamp
Darkness is as thick as the mud that mires,
Sucking at my feet as I take steps home
I'll return here at daylight, to explore
My new habitat, and home in the swamp.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

After Dark

I stayed up way too late last night. Chase called on his way home from work and told me that we were going catfishing. That's usually how things like this begin.

My brand new son- in- law Bryan was going too, although my daughter wasn't crazy about the idea. No worries though, she would stay at our house and await his return. She ended up asleep on my side of the bed until we got back. Apparently, their agreed upon curfew was 11:30, and he did his best to keep it despite Chase's nudging him to stay longer. My son has no concept of time when it comes to fish, whether they are biting or not.

So there we stood in the dark, on a bridge that crosses the Tyger  River. Every creature that flies or creepeth upon the ground was out. The noise from insects and frogs in the surrounding swamp was deafening. Chase was our catfish guide. He'd brought all the rods, bait and any tackle we might need. Chase's bait of choice was chunks of chicken breast marinated in his secret formu…

Her First One

There was a certain air of anticipation that morning as our guide, Captain Charles King, plied the waters beneath us for signs of schooling striped bass. We came to Santee Cooper Country to immerse ourselves in the sportsman's paradise, and explore all the area had to offer. As our boat cut across beautiful Lake Moultrie, the sun was breaking the eastern horizon with a warm, red glow, casting a soft, picturesque light on one of the most beautiful lakes in the South.

The South Carolina Outdoor Press Association (SCOPe) and members of the Georgia Outdoor Writers (GOA) had converged on the Santee Cooper lakes, as they held their annual fall conference at Black's Camp. As part of the group of  writers and photographers that were on the lake that particular morning. My wife, Melissa and I, along with Georgia outdoor writer, Polly Dean, were matched with an experienced guide, a man whose business is to know these waters and the popular game fish that thrive in great numbers there. Ch…

Passing On the Hunting Tradition

At ten years old, it was nearly impossible to sit still on the cold, hard ground beneath a huge pine tree, beside my dad as he scanned an old hayfield in search of deer. I was bundled up in his old camouflage coveralls—which were big enough to swallow me whole—and the boredom had started to set in by 9 am. I busied myself, playing with sticks and pinecones as I watched the occasional squirrel or songbird that would come to check us out from a safe distance. It was a cold December morning in Greenwood County, South Carolina, and despite the extra layer of clothing and my thermal underwear, I was shivering, hoping that soon my dad would give up and we would retreat to the comfort of the heated cab of his pick-up truck. I sat back against the tree and pulled my blaze orange stocking hat down over my ears, and drew my head inside of the coveralls to warm up. In just a moment, I was jolted by the thundering blast from my dad’s .58 caliber muzzleloader, and I popped my head out just in time…