The Other Wetland
This is about the other wetland. Not the idyllic wetland we all envision with sun, cattails, butterflies and reeds but the dark damp under belly of the wetland.
This is about the backwaters and drainage areas, the strange uncles of the marshes and ponds. In these places the drone of tires on the highway are likely to drown out the songs of birds and the smell of damp decay replaces the sweet smell of weeds and flowers. They live next to the open marshes but they are a world away. Here the only “wetland” is damp gooey mud that threatens to pull off a shoe that isn’t tied quite tightly enough.
Instead of reeds and lily pads there are fallen braches and trees. If you are lucky and there is any greenery it will be thick moss and not that slimy stuff that has no name. The sunlight doesn’t wash across the scene but filters through the thick canopy above, dappling the wet surface of the ground in bright patches. Outside those patches the dark of deep timber remains, unaffected by the suns strength. Here the powers of darkness prevail; decay and rot.
Here then is the paradox; the yin of the deep timber slough caught in perpetual gloom and the yang of the open wetlands bathed in sun. Life and death are continually played out and there is beauty in either, if you take the time to look.