Lakes And Ponds And Little Swimmers

We have two adoptive grandchildren here visiting for a month. They are 6 and 7 and live in Jacksonville, North Carolina, a place undoubtedly hot and way more congested than our little town here in Maine boasting a mere 1000 residents. What a joy to have these two little spirits around! They are lovely and chatty and interested in all the goings on here at the farm and nursery. What a gift to be able to leave the pavement and noise and busyness of their neighborhood back home to enjoy the quiet woods, the lush gardens, and the lakes and ponds. Oh, the lakes and ponds! Not quite accomplished swimmers when they came, but, oh, so wanting to be little fish confident and frolicking in the cool waters of Maine! Both had never swum in a natural body of water (can you imagine?), so Rick and I have made it our business to take them swimming as often as possible. Of course, the weather has been quite conducive to swimming! They have both gone from carefully wading into the water up to their skinny little knees to launching off of Rick’s back to perform the ‘all kid’s abandoned delight” of cannonballs. Again, and again, and again. How proud they both are! They emerge from the shallows,”We can swim underwater”! Hooray!
We are so very, very lucky to have such water abundance here in Maine. A true blessing. A resource we must honor and protect. Where would one be if we didn’t have a natural pool of water to cannonball into?
Kate Barnes wrote a fun poem about (a few) of the lakes and ponds here in Maine, I’ll share it with you now…

Lakes And Ponds: Some Blue Spots On The Maine Highway Map

There’s Blunder Pond and Bluffer Pond,
Molasses Pond and Bean;
There’s Scraggly Lake and Ragged Lake; there’s Silver,
Clear, and Green;
Bear Pond, Caribou, Beaver, Mink; Moose Pond and
Eagle Lake,
White Horse Lake and Spider Lake, Panther Pond, and Snake;
Hound and Otter, Togue and Salmon, Loon, and
Swan, and Duck.
There’s Hot Brook Lake and Cold Stream Pond;
There’s White Pond and there’s Black;
Lobster Lake and Bean Pot Lake; Shin Pond for a stew;
( Toddy Pond will make you cheerful, Brandy Pond will too,)
Hay Lake, Harrow Lake, Chain Of Ponds; Buttermilk and Mud;
White Oak, Cedar, Seven Tree, Elm, Mill Pond,
Meadow, Flood;
Meddybemps and Pocomoonshine; Simsquish, Skitacook,
Syslododsis, Nahinakanta, UghLake and Ticook;
Indian Pond and Soldier Pond, Polly Pond and Jim;
Round Pond, Square Lake, Corner Pond;
Cut Lake and Old Stream;
Endless Lake and Desolation, St. Froid in the snow;
Flying Pond and The Enchanted, it’s haunted stream below;
Blue spots on the road map with their blue names printed by,
Many words for “water,” many eyes that see the sky.

Poem by Kate Barnes

13 comments on “Lakes And Ponds And Little Swimmers

  1. I love that poem! And what fun to have children to make you take a few minutes each day and enjoy a dip in a nice cool lake. 🙂 They will always remember this summer with you.

  2. Those magic moments will turn into lifelong memories for the children (and you, too!) The poem is such fun–makes me a little embarrassed that, in the Adirondacks, the givers of names just gave up at some point and simply numbered some lakes! And we have a mountain in the ADKs called Pokomoonshine–I was surprised to see a lake called that, too!

  3. Water can be such a rare commodity. California never had too much of it anyway, and we certainly do not have enough for the millions of people who live here. You would think that the ocean wold be enough to swim in, but so many of the beaches that are open to the public are so crowded.

    • So right , Tony! I can not imagine what it must be like on the west coast and to anticipate water shortage on an annual basis. We are lucky here in the Northeast, but must be aware and vigilant. Nestle (Poland Springs) are attaining more and more aquifers without serious awareness…I think in time water resource will be the next ‘oil’ crisis. We really need to stay proactive in our sense of non- renewable resources!
      Love you blog by the way!!!

      • I am pleased that you enjoy the articles.
        Water is a commodity here, but that is normal. I mean that I do not think of it as a ‘shortage’ every year. It is how our climate works. I have heard all my life about this or that year being a drought, and came to the realization that every years is a drought to those who do not know any better. There are years with less rain, and years with more, but our climate is a chaparral climate. Other parts of California have a desert climate. Those who do not like it should go back where they came from. There is no drought. There are just too many people here to exploit and generally waste a naturally limited resource. My ancestors did just fine with what they had for generations.

        • Tony, I am right there with you! Because we, ( typically) have water abundance here in Maine, when we do experience a less than favorable amount ( the last two summers during July and August…a little better this year), many people (non- gardeners, farmers, and others) often react with glee. They consider these great ‘beach days’, or days on the lake, regardless of the fact that the dairy farmer down the roads well has dried up or that we are concerned for our own well and watering the pots in the nursery. Why not treat water as the precious resource that it is…always…regardless of where one lives? Conservation can be a very personal approach to our time here on this great green earth, not so difficult either. I’ll keep reading ( and enjoying) your posts. Love to hear more about your ancestors on the west coast …were they farmers?

        • My ancestors were few of those here who were not farmers. They established a foundry in Alviso, which is now in San Jose. Most of the other old families were involved with orchard production. That was the main industry here a very long time ago. The Santa Clara Valley was famous for the vast orchards, particularly the apricot orchards. Just like leaf peepers go to New England while the forest color for autumn, tourists used to come here while the vast orchards were in bloom.

        • It is very special to have that history and longevity with a place. To know the stories of your ancestors and to feel rooted to the same area. I feel that way about my roots here in New England. Can only imagine how beautiful the apricot trees are when in flower (and i love apricots). Thanks for sharing1

        • In can remember tha last remnants of the orchards because I grew up with them. Almost all of what I remember were the apricots, which were the most abundant anyway. Peaches were not too abundant, and grew in a region that was developed very early. Prunes grew around Campbell, which was likewise an area that developed before my time. I can remember a few of the cherries of Sunnyvale, and more than anything, I remember the apricots. Being able to remember the history actually makes it more frustrating. History has been modified to make it more appealing. I know it is full of lies, but can do nothing about it. If you ever see the movie ‘Winchester’ it is very full of lies.

        • Hi Tony, I have never been to the west coast , still on the to-do list, but always too busy for any real time away from the nursery and farm. Often true that history is slanted, we don’t always get the real version, do we? A bit like the Irish famine, we hear a version that places no blame on anything but the potato. Not quite accurate in the telling! Not familiar with the movie Winchester, but will check it out and go at it with your words in mind. Gardens are bursting here, a few cooler nights as of late, 2nd cut of hay just around the corner, I expect. I appreciated your comment on those who think this way of life idyllic, who glorify ( in their own minds) this life of day in , day out farming. They don’t see or understand the details…the getting up at 4 AM., the often monotonous and physically depleting work ( which we love and accept), the unpredictability of each season, the variables nature or other entities can place on our work. As I say, “Don’t be to quick to leave your day job!”
          Thanks for the info, all very interesting!

        • My colleague and I enjoy our lifestyles very much. However, we sometimes try to behave like civilized gentlemen and dress sharply to go into town. Because we rarely get to wear nice clothes, they never wear out. His wife is pretty proficient at selecting clothes that are not too old fashioned for us because she does not like me dressing like the 1980s, or him dressing like the 1970s. He has a tie that is almost as old as I am. We used to take turns wearing it because it was so old that it was cool, but it would take us half an hour to figure out how to tie it.

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