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Remember: January Thaw: Lehigh Parkway

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January Thaw: Lehigh Parkway

One hundred years of climate data supports the existence of a January thaw. It usually occurs between January 20th and January 27th. Some years it comes early, some years it comes late but as sure as spring, it comes.

Within hours, under shifting winds, the frozen strength of winter falters. The hard ground turns soft, wet, eventually turns to mud. The paths at the Parkway were mud by the time I had arrived. Deep horse shoe prints, footsteps, bike treads, standing water, thaw paths.

I visited the Little Lehigh Fly Shop for the first time. Row after row, lures and lures, fishing line, fishing poles, the owner of the shop is named Rod. Rod assures: “Best trout fishing around”. I believed him.

The Little Lehigh creek gray, green, full of loosed sediment, thaw swollen, softly angered in the long hum of short rapids.

Nick took pictures with his expensive wide angled camera. He needed the light that kept escaping behind smoky cumulus clouds.

CJ walked, hooded, chilly and chillier as the sun sank into the evening. It may have been the thaw but it is still winter. CJ walked ahead, light behind him, avoiding the mud.

I wondered if I was in a thaw. So often, I find myself absorbed into my surroundings. Was I melting? Would I be able to stand the change? I looked at the reflections of cattails in the springs here in the lowlands of the Parkway.

“Everything is monochromatic.” “It’s pissing me off.” Nick squats aside the creek in bitter mumbles.

CJ disappeared onto another path. There wasn’t much light left to the day, wasn’t much time left in the thaw.

Beavers had been here.

I wonder what Rod thinks of the beavers.

I’d like to see one.



Anonymous monkey momma said...

My daughter loved the beaver tree picture! Thanks for posting...

January 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've never seen a Pennsylvania Beaver? They're wary... but in your wanderings you may be able to catch one unawares: be sneaky.

January 22, 2010 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger ironpigpen said...

Beavers bite.

Protect the camera hand.

January 25, 2010 at 11:23 PM  

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