Entries in Susan Fox Rogers (80)


Snapping Turtle Rescue

The snapping turtle rested between the rails of the north bound Amtrak line that rims the Hudson River. If she stayed there, she would be fine, that is, a train would simply sail over her. It must have taken some determination for her to get over the railing—that is the biological willpower of a snapper who wants to lay eggs. But she now looked weary, as if she might not have the resources to get back out. If she loitered on the rails—she’d end up squashed.  Another turtle just twenty feet away, lay with its shell caved in, head severed.



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Haskell-Baker Wetlands

The Haskell-Baker wetlands in Lawrence Kansas are paradise. Most marshlands are paradise because they contain enchanting and secretive birds, like rails and bitterns. But there's something particularly magic about this almost 600 acres of land, located just off of 31st street in the southern part of this college town in prairie country.

I was in Lawrence for the ASLE conference (Association for LIterature and the Environment). I'm not a conference person--but if ever there was a conference for me, this is it. Friday afternoon is devoted to fieldtrips, one of which is to kayak down the Kansas River. And, a ten-minute drive from my extraordinarily bleak dorm is the Baker wetlands.

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Praying Mantis Spring

This winter this blog has hibernated, as have I. Friends, colleagues,  and people I meet in line at the grocery store, form a chorus: this winter was the worst; this winter was bad. This winter was a sag behind the eyes, a pull to exhaustion.  We need some sun and warmth generated energy. As one friend posted to Facebook: spring, I’m done with the foreplay. We’re ready for growth, for change, rebirth.






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Snow Goose

Eagle, looking for lunchAs I approached the South Tivoli Bay, I heard a dramatic squawk. Two enormous birds looped and circled around each other. It took a moment for me to realize what I was looking at: an Immature Bald Eagle chasing a Great Blue Heron. It seemed like a case of teenaged miscalculation. The Heron dropped into the reeds and vanished. The eagle flew off.

Thrilled by the show, I continued snowshoeing south, following the path that meanders near the edge of the South Tivoli Bay. The Bay is wide and shallow, often freezing up before the rest of the river. Snow covered the ground and the temperatures hovered near freezing. I could see that the Bay had a thin coat of ice, gleaming in the high noon sun. There are three underpasses that lead to the Hudson River and near those underpasses stood open water. There had to be ducks nearby.

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New Year's Mountains

View from the summit of Giant LedgeNear the summit of Wittenberg Mountain, the wind howling through my wool hat, I heard the chickadees. I looked over into the Spruce trees and there were the bright little birds, tilting their black caps at me, as if to get a better look at this person on snowshoes, trudging her way through the snow. My appreciation for the Chickadee soared. Here they were, just over 3,500 in such cold, singing away. My toes were cold, my ears burned, my fingers were numb. I didn’t feel like singing.

It was January 1, and we were five, ringing in the New Year by heading for the summit of Wittenberg. Wittenberg is 3,780 feet and is neighbors to Cornell and Slide in the Burroughs Range of the Catskills. The guidebook describes the climb up Wittenberg as “extremely difficult.” I had been up the mountain before, but on a spring day. And, I was feeling fresh that day. On this New Year’s hike I started out with sore legs; the day before, I had hiked up Giant Ledge and Panther with my friend Max.

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