Day 58 - Down to the chill again. / by Edward Crim

It’s been getting colder today, slowly descending into the fro-zone when the marshy ground I was slipping around on today will become much more supportive and less likely to dump me into one of the waterways in Forest Park. It was while I was down by the wetlands and riffles of the Deer Lake Natural Area when I saw the white duck. I was where several large pine trees have made a very cosy room, scented by the thick carpet of pine needles that lie beneath and decorated with a random scattering of pine cones, and thinking of staying there for a while, but instead I went down onto the rocks by the waters edge to see more. 

The one white duck, quite possibly a farm run away who decided to answer the call of the wild and fly off with the Canadas, looked at me in a rather suspicious fashion, as if I were the farmer intent on returning him to servitude and maybe Christmas dinner. I snapped a few photos and turned my attention to the mallard clan nearby, who were also not pleased to be the subject of my scrutiny. The sounds of the water running down the riffles nearby drowned out most of the city noise and geese flying overhead took care of most of the rest of it. They are noisy critters.

I continued my walk along the waterway that leads to the Lafayette Bridge, occasionally getting tangled in vines or tripping over cypress knees. I have taken to wearing knee pads myself as it makes getting down on the ground considerably less likely to cause me damage. The Forest Park Forever crews, when they clear areas of the park, cut off plants 2 to 5 inches off the ground. Some of these plants are aspiring trees and leave a rather considerable stump for me to trip over or impale myself on. So far, I have resisted the temptation, but since I regularly throw myself on the ground for a better view of small things (ok, I actually lower myself slowly and with much grunting and complaining), I figured I need extra padding, being a bit on the bony side.

The wind blew a bit today, but I was warm enough in my Christmas coat, snow pants and down mittens. It made a deep and mournful sound as it blew across the mouth of a glass bottle I picked up near the water. Perhaps it was distressed at having been so callously abandoned to become mere litter in America’s premier urban park. I gave it a home in a nearby trash can.

Pining away.

Pining away.