The Welcome Kiss of Damp

A few rain events came to sprinkle Nahant Marsh with a welcome kiss of dampness. The drying puddle of all that was left of the water has been recharged and deepened just a bit. The arrowhead and sedges thick on the once bare mud flats bordering the evaporating marsh now have wet feet—just barely.

There is nothing like a summer of drought to emphasize the great value of water. Even the thorough wetting down of the fields by the overnight pools of fog were welcomed by the plants and animals here.

The mother wood ducks have had success this season. With so little water and so many pools dried completely out, quite a number of wood duck moms have been cruising the main pool with their broods. Most years they would have been spread out and hidden in the wet thick green of high summer.

In this year’s season of prolonged drought and low water levels however, the water loving creatures that remain are gathered together in those places where the water remains. Along with families of wood ducks, egrets and herons come to the marsh to hunt for their breakfast, along with many sandpiper type birds—especially busy along the mud flats.

Already signs of autumn are visible in the surrounding trees as the green seems to have become worn out and is slipping away. The late summer flowers are in full bloom. In spite of the dry summer, the fields of prairie plants have been and remain quite beautiful, although smaller than in wetter years.

The very hottest time has passed, some rain has returned, and the sun now rises a bit later and sets a bit earlier daily. There should be many comfortable days yet for spending outside. Get out there while you can. The summer is passing by.

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