To me this photograph has something of a painterly quality — it sort of looks like a watercolor. Something about the reflections, maybe. What do you think?
Tagged With: Pond
Across Key West is a pond that was put in about ten years ago. It’s a great spot to find ducks, geese and other birds. These three took off as I approached.
I was across campus to have lunch with a few people today and then went for a short walk in the woods next to my office. I took some pictures of tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) leaves and then crossed the creek and went up to the more open part of the property. There were some areas that were still quite wet from the recent rains we’ve had. The ground around here is predominately heavy clay and water doesn’t percolate very quickly into it, particularly once it is waterlogged. This is a drainage catch basin and later in the summer it will likely be completely dry. For now, though, it’s a haven for birds and dragonflies and a small oasis in an otherwise built-up (although suburban) area.
The temperature didn’t get as low as we had been led to believe overnight, but it was 10°F this morning, which is chilly enough. I wear a light jacket when it gets this cool out, although really what I needed was gloves. The steering wheel of the car was pretty cold. I took some pictures of the pond between my office building and the next early this afternoon. The water level has dropped a few feet from when the ice started to form, so there were large sheets of ice around the banks of the pond that were left behind as the water moved out from under them. There was also ice on branches that had been underwater but now were about a foot above. It was quite pretty.
I’m not really a big Happy Hour celebrant and I don’t do a lot with people from work outside of work hours. Nevertheless, I went out with eight others from work today and enjoyed myself. It had been a particularly rough day, with a problem on a system I’m developing that I could not figure out. It made no sense and nothing I did seemed to make any difference. Finally I gave up and figured I’d have better success looking at it again in the morning. Then I went out and took some pictures, including this one, before meeting my friends in Uncle Julio’s for an hour or so. I’m pretty pleased with this picture, showing the pond at the Rio as well as Copper Canyon Grill and various other buildings behind it.
Cathy and I drove up to Pennsylvania today to replace the locks on the cabin. Over the years, the existing locks have been treated pretty shamefully by those wanting (and generally succeeding) to get in. It was bad enough that they had become loose but recently they got so bent that the door couldn’t be opened properly. Anyway, it was nice to get out into the country for a little while and it was a pretty day. We didn’t stay long but we walked around a bit and I took some pictures, such as this one of reflections on the pond.
It was a rainy day today, a quiet way to usher in the new year. In spite of the rain, though, we wanted to get outdoors. We went to a small park owned by the Isaak Walton League and walked around their pond and into the woods for a while. There were hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) on the pond and I got a few photos of them, good enough to identify them conclusively but not really that great. One of these days I’ll get a long lens but today is not that day. We also saw a hawk of some kind, which flew away from us in the woods. We’ll probably come back here in the spring or at least when it isn’t raining.
On the first of January we stopped at this little park owned by the Lake Wiles, Isaak Walton League. We came here again today with Dorothy and walked around the pond again. It was raining both times we visited but I suspect we’ll come again on a nice spring or summer day and it will be a little different. The island in the pond has a sign that says “Lake Wiles”. It’s a pretty place and the trail connects with the Muddy Branch Trail, which goes all the way to the Potomac, apparently.
We walked in the park this evening, getting as far as Sunfish Pond before turning around and heading back. It was a pretty afternoon and it was really good to get out into the woods. The sun was low in the sky as we approach the equinox but from this side of the pond, the lighting wasn’t a problem. People fish in the pond and with a name like Sunfish Pond, I have to think there might be sunfish in it, but I’ve never actually tried. Maybe I will one day.
Dorothy organized a work day today at the farm. If you haven’t heard about the farm, then you should know that, although we call it that, it’s probably not what you are picturing. My parents bought the property almost 59 years ago and it had been part of a working farm, with five fields. Since them, however, although we’ve continued to call it the farm, it’s never really been one. Three of the fields have entirely grown up with trees. Two of them are filled with trees specifically planted by my parents, including Japanese larch, white pine, and Norway spruce. One field was my dad’s ‘orchard’ and even that title may be misleading. In this part of the country there are orchards all around. But those have rows upon rows of trees. Dad’s orchard had a little of everything, with half a dozen apple trees, a few peaches, plums, pears, and various other fruit trees and shrubs. He also planted nut trees, including Turkish and American hazelnuts (Corylus colurna and C. americana, Persian walnut (Juglans regia), and Chestnuts (both Chinese, Castanea mollissima and hybrid Chinese and American, Castanea dentata). Since dad’s passing, the orchard has become significantly overgrown. The final field, which we usually call the picnic field, is still mostly clear but dad planted specimen trees of various sorts.
Today’s work day was focused mostly on clearing the orchard and we made a really good start. There were ‘weed trees’ four or five inches in diameter that needed to be cut down, along with lots of vines, multiflora roses, and Elaeagnus. We did our best to cut back the hardy kiwi (Actinidia arguta), keeping much of it but not wanting it growing up into other trees. While this was going on, we had a tree guy cutting a few larger trees, including one large maple tree that was leaning over the cabin.
The first picture here is of the pond with the cabin in the background. The second is four of the 36 or so people we had working here today.
I went up to Pennsylvania today to meet with an engineer fro the local electrical coop to talk about getting power to the cabin. I knew it was going to cost a lot. Even so, I was a bit blown away by the estimated cost. With the cable costing upwards of $30 a foot, it was going to be a LOT!
The work on the dam is underway, though, and that’s encouraging. The old, damaged drain pipe, which was preventing the pond from filling up, has been removed and the new pipe will go in shortly.
Dorothy and I took a walk through what we call the Christmas Tree Field to the Wet Field. Neither of them can—by any stretch of the imagination—be described as a field, but that’s what we call them. I can remember when they were fields, but now it’s hard to tell where the field ends and the woods begin.
At the northeast end of the Wet Field there are three large boulders. The one I’m sitting on here (photo taken on my phone by Dorothy) is called—by me, anyway—Horse Rock.
Cathy and I went up to see Dorothy today, stopping for a while at Wonder Book in Frederick, where I bought quite a large stack of ‘new’ (used) books. You never want your to-read pile to get too low. When we got to the farm, Dorothy was finishing up a painting she was doing on commission for a friend. The repairs to dam are finished and the new overflow drain had been installed. The new dock, with it’s seats on the side, as you can see, is also finished. Now all we need is rain (and snow in the winter) to fill the pond back up. At this point it doesn’t look like the dock goes out nearly enough, but when full, the water level should be just about where the upper support posts are. We’re looking forward to the pond being full again after quite a few years when it never really filled up.