Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Same Delight As Ever

June 20, 2012
Mud Pond, Moreau Lake State Park

In all my rambles I have seen no landscape
which can make me forget Fair Haven.
I sit still on its Cliff in a new spring day,
and look over the awakening woods and the river,
and hear the new birds sing,
with the same delight as ever.
It is as sweet a mystery to me as ever,
what this world is.
    HDT Journal, June 21, 1853

This is Solstice Day, which also happens to be
the third anniversary of the Water-Lily blog.
I’m on vacation this week, and it’s a joy to go a-walking
and be able to linger all I want.
Today being the Longest Day of the Year,
I headed for my own favorite place, Mud Pond.
Such a lowly name for such a beautiful place.

I did my usual circle ‘round the Pond.
(This usually takes me about two hours, since I stop to look at everything)
Today I took things really slow, and
Got my Saunter on !
So the circuit took about four hours, and I  even cut things short due to the sweltering heat of the day.
Along the way, I did have some errands.
I searched along the Powerline Easement for Wood Lilies - found but  a few. (more on that later)

The deerflies have been absolutely fierce in this dry sandy area.
I am pleased to report that Tred-Not Deerfly Patches TM
(a treasured gift from Jackie) really do work.

[It’s pretty gross to hear these little terrors buzzing their last on the back of your hat, but after suffering their bites the last time I was here -- it’s them or me!]
Then, on to a certain spot to check if the Rattlesnake Plantain was going to flower this year.
Oh boy, was it ! Many slender green spikes glowed in the morning sunlight.
It is a good year for Goodyera.

While I was on my knees photographing a pippsissewa flower, suddenly I heard footsteps, and looked up, startled -- to see a human (whew) –  but it was only Laurie! (double whew).
She’s been walking this trail since … well, since before it was a trail.
There was time enough to chat and walk a little way together, in this place we both love.
That was the only other person I saw there today.

I avoided being out in the direct sun, and when it got really hot, even in the shade, a light breeze filtered through the leaves, and kept most bugs away.
It was so hot that even the rocks were sweating.

My chores done, it was time to do what I came here for.
Several spots were perfect for “just sitting:” 
-- At the north end of the pond, where dragonflies fought

and damselflies quite literally, hooked up

-- Along the sandy bank above the beaver lodge, where the field of lilies extended all across the pond.

And on Checkerberry Hill at the south end of the pond, where I ate my lunch and took in the sights.

(be sure to right-click on this handsome fellow :)

As I sat there quietly near the water's edge,
I almost got run over by a family of geese.

They swam along the shore, coming  so close that I got nervous.
The usually-wary parents acted as if they didn’t see me, and who knew how they would take such a surprise?
Finally I did a slow wave, and after a head-wagging double-take, 
they veered offshore with threatening grunts.

You only need sit still long enough
in some attractive spot in the woods
that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves
to you by turns.


  1. The same could be said for each time I find a new post on your blog: "The same delight as ever." How beautifully you capture a sense of place, with all its wonders that most folks just would never notice.

  2. There are at least ten Mud Ponds in Vermont, of which I have been to only one. Your post entices me to visit them all.

  3. hi Jackie - and to think we are just seeing a small percentage of what is going on out there !
    hi Bernie -- thanks for stopping by, before living in upstate NY I lived in Newfane - I do miss fiddleheads and frost heaves and Clean-Up Day ! let us know if you ever do "run the trapline" of those ten ponds...

  4. Your photos always take me on a quick trip home :o)

  5. Great post, Suep! 'Love the HDT quote!