American Dipper at Bagley Creek

Ice formed elaborate designs along the edge of the open water in Bagley Creek. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Ice formed elaborate designs along the edge of the open water in Bagley Creek. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Light waist deep and sparkling in morning light
Crust thick with fluffy white top
Ice crystals line the creek like
Lace on a fancy gown or
Maybe feathers growing out from shore
Pools run smooth and quiet.
The water dark, almost black against,
The white reflected in the water.

Sudden movement
Upstream, not water
What might it be.
I inch toward the creek
Senses alert.

Grey-chocolate puffball
With legs and sharp bill
Flies down, Alights on a rock
Water rushes around the perch,
There it bobs up and down
It peers one-way and then the next

Dives right into water which
Must be ice cold right now.
Flies out of water to
Another rock. Swims through
Pool of tumbling water with
Head under, looking for what.
A trout cruises by, both searching
For food. The Dipper flutters to snow bank.

Walks lightly, leaving
Deep foot prints as it goes.
Water droplets roll off back,
Feathers as dry as fresh towels
Scolds loudly at me, leaves
Gliding down stream, on
Stiff steady wing beats.

American Diver, or Water Ouzel, walks through the snow above Bagley Creek. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

American Diver, or Water Ouzel, walks through the snow above Bagley Creek. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Ice sheet hung over the quiet pool.1 (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Ice sheet hung over the quiet pool.1 (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Ice dangles above the rapids in the creek forming an intricate design. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

Ice dangles above the rapids in the creek forming an intricate design. (G. Thomas Bancroft)

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