I lived in or near wetlands for many years. I moved to western Pennsylvania in late ‘19and miss that watery world. Waterfowl, marsh plants, river traffic, wading at the sandy or stony beach along the Potomac, all hold beautiful memories.
My new landscape is made of mountains so old they were laid down before any fossil life. getting close to the water is challenging. Many of the creeks & rivers are hidden in steep gorges, no access by road. And since my walking has become much more limited at times I feel cut off from my element.
That’s not to say I don’t love these Rocky lands. I’m fascinated by this landscape. And I’m so aware that all these shapes were carved by water and ice.
Tonight on the eve of summer I’ve come up to my swimming place, the Quemahoning reservoir. Built to supply Bethlehem Steel’s voracious appetite for water, this lovely lake now hosts a beach, picnic grounds & several camps. We’re up in a high valley, hemmed by forested ridges.
Tomorrow I’ll go down to watch the white water crowd launch their kayaks on the Stonycreek. I’ll wade on slabs of ancient sea bottom, grey shale stained with the acidic red oxide from coal mine runoff.
We’ve made our marks on this land. Maybe not as violent as the crushing glaciers, the clash of continents. I’m still learning what these old stones can tell me. It’s quite a story.