A Little Water

by Carl Strang

For months now I have included a walk into the center of the stream corridor marsh at Mayslake Forest Preserve in my weekly rounds. When would water return? As I have documented this past year, the drought dried up the marsh, with the last surface water vanishing in mid-July.

The last puddle was here.

The last puddle was here.

The open mud quickly filled with a tall dense growth of an opportunistic plant, the river bulrush.

The bulrush transpired enough water that the marsh remained dry through the autumn.

The bulrush transpired enough water that the marsh remained dry through the autumn.

A recent all-day rain finally brought a little water into the marsh, as I discovered last week.

It is perhaps 3 inches maximum depth, and most has frozen.

It is perhaps 3 inches maximum depth, and most has frozen.

The area is at most 20-30 yards across.

The area is at most 20-30 yards across.

Not much yet, but it’s a start. I’m hoping to see the marsh full by spring, and will be interested in following its repopulation.

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