Across The Pond

Picture 462Picture 473Picture 471One of our favorite places to walk or snowshoe ( or canoe, come summer) is Kingdom Bog. If you walk through our woods about 1/4 mile, you come to the bog. It’s an open water bog, more like a pond really, about 20 acres, and fairly shallow. I think the deepest section is just over 16 feet. There are no camps on this pond, and it’s not easy to drive to. Fortunately, it’s always been quite secluded. This afternoon, while the sun was warm and bright, I took the dog for a hike across Kingdom Bog. The ice is a good 12 inches thick right now, and there’s about 6 inches of snow covering its surface. There was not one single track made across the entire pond. Just an expanse of white, with the sun sparkling across its surface. It looked and felt pristine. It felt still and wonderfully quiet. I have lived by the ‘Kingdom’ for most of my adult life. Long before I was married and had kids, I would walk down to the Kingdom and swim in the evening. Then I’d make my way back to a dark house through the woods carrying a Coleman lantern. I have fond memories of those night time dips, the feeling of diving into black water, knowing that no one else was on the pond.
Picture 483Picture 485Picture 480 Later, my kids learned how to ice skate on the pond. The absolute privilege of having an entire frozen landscape all to yourself, gliding along on a frigid afternoon in January or February! We’ve always ice fished on this pond, caught lots of pickerel or perch, and occasionally a brook trout. For several years we’ve set up our 12×12 canvas wilderness tent, equipped with it’s own wood stove, up on the bank amongst a grove of hemlocks. Then we drag the goal nets down to the ice and leave them there for the season. Epic pond hockey games have been played out on Kingdom Bog. When the ice is good, we make the effort to keep a large section clear of snow. With our own outdoor hockey rink primed and ready, we traipse down, often on snowshoes and with our skates thrown over our shoulders, for an afternoon of play. In the summer, especially just as the sun is rising, Kingdom Bog is a beautiful place to canoe. Serene. It is home to beaver and muskrat, and lots of waterfowl. We often see eagles there. Fox and coyote cross the pond once it’s frozen, and deer and moose travel the banks. Today, Kingdom Bog was a glorious place to be. When Noah was about 14 years old, I came home to find a handwritten note he left on the table. ” Shawn and I went down to the pond to shoot pucks, didn’t want to waste a day of sunshine and good ice, love Noah”. I hope we all learn how to not waste a good day of sunshine and good ice . Today, I did just that. Picture 477Picture 481Picture 487 Picture 486