The marsh begins to bristle with grass, the willets “pill-will-willet” as they flush, and office-worn scientists stretch their atrophied muscles and leap a leap that’s not short on confidence but short on distance onto the spongy peat. A new, muddy skidmark – a badge of honor or welcoming – adorns the no-longer new pants. The scientist stands, struggling like a new-born foal to find her legs. The marsh smiles a creek-wide smile, breathes deeply and says hello. A new field season begins.
The next week the weather was temperamental and our week was filled with the minutiae of set-up. Deploy walking planks (arg!), order supplies, dust the cobwebs from the battered memory about how to set-up YSI’s, go to Home Depot, forget something, go back to Home Depot, and of course, haul one or two bags of fertilizer. By the Friday, both Clubhead and Sweeney tank set-ups were complete and their bellies full of sweet, sweet fertilizer.
We started pumping by May 14. I lie. Clubhead is a gem and began on the 13th. Sweeney. Well, Sweeney is Sweeney. A lovely child, but always needing just a bit more attention than the rest. Pump hiccups happen but there is no angst (maybe a little) as I am to New Hampshire to roost on the porch of Frank Bowles, the pump engineer, until we to fix the Sweeney pump up nicely. Kate and I still celebrated Friday with both set-ups being complete, if not operational.
For now it is just two of us, but soon there will be more. It should be a productive season and I look forward to your smiling faces and slumping, fertilizer-laden shoulders on the marsh.
It waits for you.