Pond in winter Sunday, Jan 25 2015 


December 31st 2014 Wednesday, Dec 31 2014 

December 31st, 2014: Julie’s Pond

The moon rose

In the shattered mirror

That held the somber pine

And westward still

Far past the prow of rock

The sun sank

Upon its final day

On light Monday, Dec 29 2014 

particularly reflected light. Many places are so solidly lit that shadows don’t really exist. Try making decent shadows in a fast food restaurant, a store, an office, or a doctor’s office. You can’t. The same is true of many houses: wall lighting, overhead, track lighting, etc. Shadow puppets? What’s that?

Leaving aside the interesting philosophical exercise of stretching points that this can lead to….it also means that all the old tricks to brighten a room seem a little bit dull. Mirrors don’t have much depth in full light. They just reflect precisely what is there, whereas in a dark room: what was that shadow? And if the glass has any ripples! Mirrors have personality, but only when the darkness is there.

I always end up thinking about light at this time of the year. And mirrors, but not just of glass. At this time of year, every night when I do the horse, Julie’s Pond is present down in the woods. No leaf cover of course, and the sun angle is such that it is visible from the hill top. A steel gray gleam in the forest, still and silent, sometimes a tongue of fire at sundown that fades into nothingness.

Other times of the year…it can look like this. (I can’t claim this picture, much as I’d like to) Where does the water end and the light begin?


Winter Wednesday, Nov 26 2014 


Winter Project? Tuesday, Oct 28 2014 

There is enough left, plus a picture or two, that reconstructing this bench which once looked out over the pond is possible. I don’t think we will rebuild the planters, however. Nor will we attempt to replant the hyacinth garden, though it must have been quite elegant in a Victorian fashion: too shady for one thing, leaving aside the practical problems!

Here is Morris Smith, circa 1885, looking east:


Looking up at the remains of the bench today: the triangular shape mid-ground, right.


Wondrous works Monday, Oct 27 2014 

‘Will you cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect the beauty and integrity of all creation?’

This was the text of a resolution passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut on Saturday as a proposed sixth baptismal question (it now has to be run through the General Convention twice before being officially adopted, so 2018 at the earliest). As a lay delegate to the convention, this resolution was one of several that I had a particular interest in.

Those of you who know me, know that I have very little patience with the ‘green’ movement. And when this question was posed last year, it had serious problems with obvious political overtones: ‘trigger words’ and very little Scriptural grounding. A year later, and the kinks were worked out. It now reflects the fundamental truth which has been so often warped: the universe is wondrous and we are part of it.

So what does this have to do with this blog? Well today, I spent time working on the annual cutting of unwanted brush up on the house lot, Holly spent time working in the garden, and Jamie spent time cutting the trees in the Spring Lot that I had marked for removal.

The thing is, the ongoing thinning of the Spring Lot, which will eventually result in a towering* grove of Maple, Oak, Beech, Black Birch, and Ash is a long running project. Its final glory won’t be evident for about a century or so. But in a century or so, God willing, someone will have a stand of forest giants. As I have enjoyed the trees that are giants now, so will they. A cathedral of trees and a pond caught at the break of the hill, where the sunset falls. I won’t see them, and the land almost certainly won’t still be in the family. But that does not matter. It will be there in glory.


*when the little guys, that don’t even hit the lower branches of the canopy are 50 feet in height…..

The old Silver Maple Thursday, Aug 28 2014 

Down by Julie’s Pond, taken a few years ago. I have to figure out how to get the duckweed back under control on that pond….


Spring Sunday, Apr 13 2014 

I think we can safely call winter over…the peepers are finally going hard in Julie’s pond.  They started a few days ago in the pond across the road in East Meadow, but that pond is in nearly full sunlight and is fed by the regular seasonal water table rise.  Today, they have been going consistently all day in Julie’s pond, which is down in the woods and is spring fed.  It is, therefore, significantly colder than any other pond.

There is a wood duck pair down there as well, though I doubt they will nest…too much activity on the road.  The real question is whether I will see any baby salamanders swimming about down there this year.  I did last year, but only by pure chance.

Road to …? Sunday, Nov 17 2013 


The Old Willow Saturday, Jun 29 2013 

Down below Julie’s Pond, there was a massive triple-trunk Black Willow. A few years ago, one trunk failed, during this year’s storms the other two finally went, first one and then the other in different storms. Each trunk was a solid 18 inch diameter, and they split off about 7 feet above the base. The ruined base made for a fun set of photos. For scale, the horizontal broken piece in the first photo was about 6 feet off the ground.



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