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Marsh Musings
hoi kl marsh musings

Spring is coming!

by Dr. Dan Witt

The weather is still cool, but I can feel the urge of spring.  When the marsh was frozen and the waterfowl went south, not much other than one snowy owl was very visible.  He was shy and never gave me a good opportunity to get a image to share with you.  Hawks are still around, but they seem nervous with the cold.  Karl has a unique image of a deer mouse after a encounter with a hawk that he will share if you ask.   I did see a mink for a couple of days, and it was a busy character hanging out at the gates straight east of headquarters and can be seen with a little patience.
This morning is different.  I think the sky and sunrise are different when a big wind is forecast.  The wind is supposed to gust to 50 mph in Garden City and Dodge today.  I write this little musing on Wednesday or Thursday to make the Tribune Sunday deadline, and this is Thursday morning.  A lot of geese have returned in the past 24 hours.  Huge waves  of snow geese weave intricate lace patterns in the sky, and fill the air with their calls.  The air is “heavy” and there is a sense of urgency to get the day untracked.
Don Gibson has a song called “Take the Time to Touch the Morning” that emerges from my memory on days like this.  Cat Stevens did “Morning has Broken.” Music is a vital part of our lives and enhances the visual beauty of our surroundings.  Spring is only around the corner and will be leaping at us in a month or so when the shore birds ramp up their migration.  
I hope we get more rain to keep our marsh wet and happy.  The loss of water from the aquifer is a serious matter and may very well change the way we farm and live in Kansas.  Crops and processes that require lots of water will be scaled back and cotton may become a more prominent industry in  our state.  Kansas farmers are smart people and will survive and thrive as always.  I will check the grocery store and service station to get the best information possible-- the day is always greeted with enthusiasm and big ideas at those locations.  I love our communities and people that live quiet inspirational lives around us every day.  We are blessed.
Get up a little early once in a while and go see, hear, smell and embrace the morning in the marsh.  It makes us better.
Doc Witt is a retired physician  and avid outdoorsman