On a winter visit to the Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove, Oregon, ice covered the lake, thick enough to support a crowd of Canada geese. The breeze did not allow a leisurely contemplation of the scene; the morning blew hard through me and left me empty of thought or feeling or desire. I moved quickly through the landscape, leaning like the cattails bent by wind. ♨
In the coolness of dawn, before the heat melts night’s calm, the superlative colors of sky break across morning as the marshes embrace another day.
A highlight of Forest Grove, Oregon, is a visit to the water treatment plant, where sewage feeds the Fernhill Wetlands. Before dawn the wetlands bustle with waterfowl and songbird activity as treated waters become the source of life for the thriving chaos of nature. In the aftermath of human waste, a natural place becomes possible.