When a Gentle Fog Settles Like Water’s Beauty Transformed…

Rotary Trail in Peterborough during a foggy day, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

A few days ago, I woke up in the morning to a dense fog outside. I hastily dressed, grabbed a clementine, put on my boots and coat and raced outside into the gentle morning. The air was fresh. A calm stillness had settled over everything, from ghostly forest to dripping branches by the path to people who appeared and disappeared in the mist.

Rotary Trail path to the bridge across the Otonabee River, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

As I strolled along the trail and forest paths, camera in hand, I realized that I needn’t have rushed; the fog didn’t burn away and dissipate beneath a strong sun. It remained foggy the entire day.

Path through winter forest on a foggy morning, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)
Thompson Creek marsh in the fog, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)
Otonabee marsh in the fog, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)
Dogwood shrubs add colour to the marsh as ice forms, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

At Thompson Creek marsh, crimson dogwood shrubs and gnarly trees greeted me with arms stretched through the fog. The damp air, fragrant with the stirring of Winter, caressed my cheeks. I felt like I’d entered a Camille Pissarro painting…

Alders, willows and other trees, amid ruddy dogwoods, line Thompson Creek marsh behind, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)
Road to Lakefield along Otonabee River in the fog, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

During my drive along the river, the calm stillness of the day settled over me with muted beauty. Nature’s shapes peered through the mist like quantum entangled apparitions, coalescing to the nearness of my gaze then vanishing again on my parting.

Shore of ice-strewn Otonabee River off Lakefield Road, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)
1906 building on shore of Otonabee River during a foggy day, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)
Small island in Otonabee River on road to Lakefield, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

I drove along country roads that vanished in the mist. As I plied through the fog, phantom trees loomed, quietly announcing themselves on the side of the road as their shapes assembled into something solid.

I imagined I was catching the breath of heaven…

Country dirt road in the Kawarthas on a foggy day, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)
Tree ghosts in a farmer’s field in Kawartha country, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)
Snow melt stream and marsh on the side of a country road on a foggy day, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

The fog is a shape-shifter. Sometimes a brooding beast, obscuring all in its indiscriminate path. Other times an impish rogue, a pale coquette, winking and teasing as it both reveals and hides, like a good mystery novel…

Fog over the Otonabee River, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)
Thompson Creek marsh in a winter mist, ON (photo by Nina Munteanu)

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” by Pixl Press(Vancouver) was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications (Toronto) in June 2020.