Tartan of the Tulpehocken

   A squirrel, quick and slithery as mercury, ejects from the trash can. Movement inside the hinged flap is a big tip-off. Up it darts, with a cracker packet in its mouth.

   Overnight thunderstorms have cleared the air, refreshed the humidity level and soaked the ground.

   A heron sits in the pose of a sentinel on Toppled Tree. It crooks its beak down, tilting it toward the water, for a moment and then to the side. Whether it searches for fish, or hears the sound when an observer turns on her cellular telephone to check the time, is undetermined. His altitude above the water makes him a kind of Highlander, above it all.

   Some amazing spokes, shafts and beams of light – the sunlight through the trees – mirror in the quiet creek at the picnic island. The pattern is plaid, tartan of the Tulpehocken. The angles hit and refract like a kilt on bouncing knee.

    A rough-looking heron posts itself on picnic peninsula. Its feathers look ruffled, like the leaves shaken loose from the storms. There is plenty of time for grooming and fishing today.


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