It has been a while since I’ve walked down to the pond. In fact, yesterday was my first trip since before our vacation. A combination of tall grass (harboring insects and snakes), injured knee, and heat have kept me within the boundaries of our yard. However, yesterday I was ready, willing, and able to explore. I grabbed my whacking stick and set off. (No that is not a spelling error. I walk with a tall stick that I can hit things with if necessary!)
It is difficult to fully describe the calming, restorative powers of a walk to the pond. It is even more difficult to photograph the trip in a way that really does it justice. There are things that can only be experienced, not captured with any accuracy. The cicadas almost deafening drone, the smell of the hot cedars, the sounds of the splashing turtles, and the soft lapping of the water combine in a way that takes me back to my childhood walks in the woods. It is a good place to ponder and pray.
Yesterday the dragonflies were swarming and mating in whirling groups that swooped and dipped in the water so quickly that at first I was confused about how to even attempt to photograph them. Then I realized that I didn’t need to follow the dragonflies’ flights, but simply focus on an area of the water and take about a dozen shots! I ended up with one that shows a good group and gives you at least an indication of their activity. And finally a pair alighted on the tree and allowed me to take their picture.
There were dozens and dozens of small fish at the water’s edge, but the water is dark and murky because of the heat and algae, so I didn’t attempt to photograph them. Later, after I returned to the house and it had rained for a bit, I did notice these fish splashing around. (The photo is poor because it was taken from such a distance.) I don’t know what they might be, but they surfaced repeatedly for about an hour. I guess I should have walked back down for a closer look!
I saw a few turtles, but they have been playing hide’n’seek with me this summer. There are two huge ones that I can see clearly from the house. They love to sun themselves on the rocks at the far side of the pond. However, if I even walk to the fence they dive into the water. So unless I camp out in the trees for about a day, I doubt I will get a good photograph. I suppose I need a blind…and lots more time and motivation!
The pond is a constant source of delight, no matter what time of day or season of the year. As I trudged back to the house I promised myself that I will return much more often.