There was a sucking sound as my rubber boot sank into the deep black muck. Naturalist Jon Binhammer and I were standing in the middle of a hardwood swamp in central Vermont.
Above us, dainty red flowers clung to the still-bare branches of red maple trees and fat black buds encircled the stems of black ash. Though the trees in the surrounding uplands had leafed out, the swamp was cooler, and these trees had not yet unfurled their leaves.
Bright yellow blooms of marsh marigold covered the swamp’s floor, growing out of mud and pools of water. Speckled alder shrubs, named for their spotted stems, were scattered about. In the distance we heard the “kuk-kuk-kuk” of a pileated woodpecker and the “toolili” of a blue jay. [Read more…] about Outside Story: Life In A Swamp