Wolf Creek Swamp
By: Justin L. (Age 14)

Behind the tree stand runs a small slow-moving creek,
crystal clear and cluttered with fallen trees… … …
and dead palm fronds from the many palm trees
and palmetto plants that surround it.

Largemouth bass meander lethargically up and down the creek,
slyly pretending not to notice the many minnows and brim
darting back and forth along the banks.
But in reality the cunning largemouth await the moment
When some unsuspecting brim will let down his guard for an instant
and present the opportunity
To strike.

The great oaks, cypress and palm trees form a loose canopy,
allowing some light to pass through,
but shading me from the afternoon sun.

Squirrels scurry up and down the trunks of the oaks,
striving to bury as many acorns as possible,
with the thought of coming back for them later.
Yet all their greedy scurrying is in vain,
for squirrels are very absent-minded,
and will soon forget where they have buried their treasure:
They unknowingly plant next spring’s oak seedlings.

Two of the squirrels begin squeaking madly
as they chase each other from tree to tree,
playing their own version of hide-and-seek.

Amidst the racket of the squirrels,
a banana spider carefully weaves his masterpiece
between two palm fronds,
the gold on its back shimmering in the few rays of sunlight that
penetrate through the treetops.

I sit completely still as doe and wild hogs pass by.
My heart races faster
with every cautious step
that they take towards the stand.
Some come so close that I could jump from the stand,
and would land on their backs.

Yet I do not raise my bow,
as I wait for the elusive whitetail buck
to show his face.

Unseen turkeys begin to cluck in the thick brush to my left.
I hear quail, dove, cardinals, robins and other birds,
all singing their own tune.

As night approaches, the sky erupts with color,
splattered with brilliant reds, oranges, purples, and pinks.
Even the leaves on the trees
take on a different hue.

And as darkness finally begins to fall,
the ominous hoots of owls and the crickets’ lonely chirp,
seem to announce the arrival of the mosquitos,
who are just rising for their nocturnal feast.

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