Snow cover was very light this early spring (2012). Below Blackberry bridge the lower river bank, flattened 5 feet above the water level and covered with last year’s brown grass, is dry to walk on. All along this part of the valley are Burr Oak trees, and near the bank they lean far out over the river to capture uncontested sunlight, often so far that they uproot and tip over, still growing.
The leaning trees are not dead, but this early in the spring there are no buds, and the gnarled structure of their branches stands out, like a Thunderbird claw twisting and reaching. Across the river the banks rise steeply to farmland, berry farms, and the old Blackberry bridge road.
The boat landing and access road are nearby, and bits of winter debris scatter in the roadside wrack. There are a pair of rotting winter gloves — no beer cans to be seen — but a deer haunch lies a bit off the turn. The haunch perhaps has been gnawed at by dogs or some animal. The smell of the dead meat clings to the memory of the place, surfaces unwelcome for weeks after taking the photos.