Posts Tagged ‘Little Pond’

Moose Party

Around 7:20 pm this evening my husband and I decided to take a stroll. Any thoughts of a walk were quickly dashed when I noticed a bull moose in the water at the pond, dining on weeds. This would be the only show in town tonight and moose-watching would take precedence over any kind of walk.  As we stood quietly observing the bull moose we were joined by our second-closest neighbors who live a mile up the road, who were meandering by on their bikes. They are a bit jaded by moose sightings since they retired to Maine last year from  Anchorage Alaska and moose sightings are both common and frequent there. As we were shmoozing, a multigenerational carload of folks who live 2.5 miles down the road also stopped to gawk and talk. By now we were having a moose party at the bottom of our driveway, while Bullwinkle eyed us unconcernedly as he munched away.

How I love this life in Maine!

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Walking on Water

Although it was considerably warmer today than it’s been, Little Pond, which sits at the bottom of our driveway, is now frozen solid.  It was a rather grey, bleak day, but we still try to get outside once or twice a day, seven days a week, to enjoy the fresh air and take walks no matter what the weather.  We decided it might be fun to walk across the icy pond, and get a different perspective from our usual view.

 

Our dog Spencer stands on frozen Little Pond.

Our dog Spencer stands on frozen Little Pond.

 

It was kind of fun to say we walked on water

It was kind of fun to say we walked on water

There are several large beaver dams at the edges of Little Pond.  Trappers do lay traps here.

There are several large beaver dams at the edges of Little Pond. Trappers do lay traps here.

Cattails along the edge of Little Pond

Cattails along the edge of Little Pond

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We're on the pond looking across to our house, hidden in the woods (designated by red arrow)

We’re on the pond looking across to our house, hidden in the woods (designated by red arrow)

Here is a closeup of the same picture.  You can barely make out our snow-covered roof.

Here is a closeup of the same picture. You can barely make out our snow-covered roof.

footprints on frozen Little Pond

footprints on frozen Little Pond

Our house.  You can see how snow has slid off part of the metal roof.

Our house. You can see how snow has slid off part of the metal roof.

Our 16 x 20 shed was completely stacked with cut and seasoned wood by the end of summer.  The “problem” is that the last few winters have been relatively warm and we haven’t had to use much wood in the woodstove, thanks to our very well insulated house.  Some of the wood has been sitting in the shed for more than 5 years.  The problem is that after a certain point, wood can get too dry and brittle.  At that point it won’t burn very hot and will burn so quickly that it’s not really fuel-efficient.  So this year we decided that rather than adding more cut wood to the shed, we’d just take our extra wood and leave it under tarps until we could make a serious dent in the “old” wood that’s been stored since we first built the house.  Because it’s been very cold, we have been using more wood for heat in general.  I think we still have several years to go, though, before the shed is emptied of the “old” wood, but hopefully we’ll use it up before dry rot sets in.

 

This shed wall was filled with 4 layers of wood stacked 6 1/2 feet high at the end of summer 2014.  We've managed to use up quite a bit by January 2015.

This shed wall was filled with 4 layers of wood stacked 6 1/2 feet high at the end of summer 2014. We’ve managed to use up quite a bit by January 2015.

 

But as you can see, we still have plenty of wood left in the rest of the shed.

But as you can see, we still have plenty of wood left in the rest of the shed.

I still can't believe we split and stacked most of this wood ourselves, log by log - around 20,000 lbs!

I still can’t believe we split and stacked most of this wood ourselves, log by log – around 20,000 lbs!

 

 

Our Pond is Haunted

 

 

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Little Pond

The past couple of weeks saw warmer than normal temperatures and rain so whatever snow is left is hard-packed and icy with many bare spots showing through. Even though the days have been sunny, yesterday and today were quite cold, with temperatures in the single digits at night.   Little Pond, the bog which sits at the bottom of our driveway, is frozen over.

Yesterday I experienced perhaps the most unusual natural phenomena ever in all my years in Maine.

Around sunset I decided to take the dog for a quick walk.  As we reached the bottom of the driveway, I heard a strange, unearthly noise unlike any noise I’d ever heard before, coming from the pond.  As I stopped to listen – – the air was completely still with no other signs of life nor sounds nearby in the vast, bleak emptiness – – the noise came and went in odd spurts, sometimes in a crescendo, sometimes sounding like a low, ghostly howl; knocking; moaning and groaning; at other times like the crack of a whip as it traveled across the pond.   I strained my eyes but could see no activity above the water.  At first I thought it might be the sound of beaver activity under the ice. But the sporadic sounds came from different locations in the pond:  first near me, then the opposite shore, then the far end, and other times from the middle, etc.  There was no pattern nor rhythm, and the sounds varied.  I can’t honestly describe them – – they were unsettling, and ominous, and ghoulish, and other-worldly.  My dog was terribly afraid by these noises – – he refused to walk further and returned to the bottom of our driveway, planting himself firmly there, refusing to budge and anxiously waiting for me to follow him home.  I walked to different parts of the pond’s edge but did not get any closer to solving the mystery.  Instinctively, I felt it was some sort of underwater noise or signaling — since I couldn’t pinpoint its direction or source I still wasn’t sure if the noises were emanating from above or beneath the ice – – but how? Why? What did this mean?  And why, with my daily ventures to the pond over the past 5 years at all times of day and night, in good weather and bad, had I never heard these sounds before?

(This is actually one of the things I love so much about my life in Maine.  There is always something new to experience and to learn, to see and hear and feel.  It’s a near constant explosion of sensory awareness, providing that one is patient and receptive and can slow down enough to be open to it.  And when I slow down, I mean really slow down:  I find a spot, close my eyes, and take several deep cleansing breaths.  Then I consciously work on breathing deeply and quietly and slowly, and open my eyes.   By now I feel my heartbeat has slowed.  My blood pressure is low.  My muscles are relaxed.   I concentrate deeply on listening and seeing and on each of my senses individually, only allowing them to integrate when I feel I’ve absorbed each sense at a high level of awareness.  I may stay in a single spot for fifteen or twenty minutes, or as much as an hour (and by then my dog is usually fully bored and exasperated with me, sighs, and lays down on the ground in surrender).  I guess some people would call this a form of meditation, but I’ve never studied meditation and I don’t really know much about it.  But it is during these periods of concentration and alertness that I’ve been especially successful in observing Nature.  And it never, ever gets old.)

After searching on the Internet, I finally found the sound that I had heard earlier in the day at Little Pond:  “dispersion of sound waves in ice sheets.”  It is an unusual phenomena that has many people scratching their heads.  The sounds were described by others as “creepy” and “eerie” so I was in good company.  I’ve provided some links below so you, too,  can get a taste of the unusual.

Creepy sounds in St. Paul MN:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOngbi8UQ9s

A frozen lake in Berlin, Germany (with a great explanation of the phenomena):  http://silentlistening.wordpress.com/2008/05/09/dispersion-of-sound-waves-in-ice-sheets/

 

 

 

Lots. More. Snow.

Enjoying the beauty of winter in Maine!

This past snowfall was a very wet, heavy snow, of which you can see evidence by its weighing down this birch tree to form a perfect, beautiful arch.

This past snowfall was a very wet, heavy snow, of which you can see evidence by its weighing down this birch tree to form a perfect, beautiful arch.

Our street was plowed within one hour after the snow stopped falling

Our street was plowed within one hour after the snow stopped falling

The plow guy is in touch with street plow people so he knows when to come and do our driveway.  He usually follows right on the heels of the main road plow person.

Our driveway plow guy is in touch with street plow people so he knows when to come and do our driveway. He usually follows right on the heels of the main road plow person.  Beneath the house, on the bench, we’ve placed a 50 lb salt block, but so far no deer or moose have come to take a lick.

Little Pond

Little Pond

Little Pond

Little Pond

Little Pond

Little Pond

Wild turkeys foraging

Wild turkeys foraging

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Our dog, Spencer, is dwarfed by the presence of winter on our driveway