s.n.a. poems #60: mud lake fen and wet prairie

mud lake fen and wet prairie is on mud lake’s southern shore. the calcareous fen surrounds and feeds an inlet to the drainage lake. sedges were thick on the ground, and the peaty soil is—get this—quaking, which means that the peat has built up to the point that the sedge mat is actually floating. it’s a quaking fen! my brother, who was walking with me, put his foot right in it thru the ice. a little scary, but mostly just really cool to see down into the peat, since he was fine. the smell wasn’t “gross” but certainly unique and earthy.

the snow drifts blowing into the sedge and cattails at the edge of the lake were the visual highlight.

thanks to the dnr for tending this land.


we’ve pushed our way thru sedge

to tread on the solid lake

fen-hoppers, grateful for water


hallowed curvature

of the fen drift

a miracle to the eye


cardinals call to one another

in the treetops. lichen and moss

continue growing. there’s life in the snow

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