The Maguire Gallery

Dolly Diehl Maguire

The Creek

Late Winter 1982, at the farm –

The birds are eating like mad.
The radio says there will be little or no precipitation.
I'll go with the birds.

     I walked down to the creek last week, following Martin's wall. Trying to keep in a straight line and define the border of our property. Very difficult, the wall ends, then there is a short piece of snake fence, then a line of quite big old trees, then two trees marked with green paint -- strange. Finally the line seems to parallel the creek. I truly don't know where our borders are because I know our land goes to the other side of the creek.

     It is such a nice woodsy place that seems never to have been farmed -- many fallen trees lying among the standing ones. Big trees lying down -- why? Disease? The weaker ones cut off from the sun?

      A place that was a spring once, stones built up behind it. But the water isn't flowing there now. It has gone underground and come out a few yards away.

      The creek is flowing beautifully and cutting deep into the ground, banks one foot high on each side in places. I think it still changes course every few years. Where it obviously washed a few years ago, is dry this year.

      Three years ago I planted watercress down there that I got from Jimmy Diehl. Then I couldn't find it. But this year there were two spots, awash with water. I risked slipping and falling in and got a piece and ate it and I'm quite sure it is watercress. So in the years to come, it should spread and be worth the walk down there to get it.

     It could be found by going in from the road, but pretty far into our property. A place where the creek broadens. I think it goes around an island there. The ferns and skunk cabbage are coming up. The ferns never did die -- big green lush leaves lying flat on the ground from being under the snow.

     The old cabin at the creek is a junk yard. So when you pass that area you have to turn your eyes away and duck into our land, where nature has been allowed to go its own way, with the process of decay nourishing the new plants, fallen trees affording shelter for animals. A wild beauty of its own.

     Basil Martin says that once a wide river flowed there -- run-off from the edge of a glacier. It's so flat, the creek area, and there are rounded stones here and there like Delaware River stones. Others aren't rounded, but quite a few are. A mystery. The glacier may have been there fifty thousand years ago. Man made tools forty thousand years ago. But became modern man thirty, twenty thousand years ago. I wonder what stone tools might be found down there, where the creek cuts away the build up of earth? Are the rounded stones Indian tools? I wonder where the stream flowed before it reached this point, to have gotten so wide when it reached here?

     I must explore again soon.




Other Maguire Gallery artists:  Dolly Diehl Maguire, Barrie Maguire, Bonnie Maguire Wren, Deborah Maguire, Brigid Maguire, Jim Meehan, Kenna Doeringer, Patrick Meehan, Terry Maguire, Cindy Maguire, Joseph Meehan