Have you ever had the opportunity to really watch a river change? It is one of the many wonders of local phenology. Subtle, day to day, following the seasons.
Gone are the days of watching the water striders and boatman dance over the clear, still morning water. Here are the days of bracing oneself against the cold moisture blown off the river by the fierce autumn winds. Gone are the days of mostly clear, cool water, only sediment, fish and macroinvertebrates. Here are the days of green, soupy, warm – as compared to the air temperature – water; mostly leaves, dead sticks and heavy sediment. Gone are the back channels teeming with life among the high water pools. Here now is the lowest water level I have seen all year: beaches dried and uncovered for the first time, former pools now chocked full of dead leaves.
Do not fear, for these days will not last long. Already, white cold dense flakes are beginning to fall with the cold near daily rains. The wind bores a chill through my jacket, requiring a hat and gloves to protect me as I continue to teach outside. Though school groups are still attending, everyone feels the chill, and our work load begins to slow. Long busy program weeks are being replaced by quieter project “camp reset” days. A much needed break from the early fall craziness. As much as I needed a break and the quiet, I sure do miss the gleeful smiles of youth when they first arrive at Upham. Gone are the days of gleeful smiles, here are the days of program, lesson and camp improvement for another season. Bring on the snow, for it means another year, and another great season!