It’s Saturday. Ready for a topography story?
We live on a narrow, oblong slant of land that goes all the way down to the pond that’s really a lake. Our property line even goes through the lake and ends on a bluff somewhere on the other side.
Waterfront! Get the dock and the pontoons! Let’s build some condos!
Not so fast.
With the exception of one ancient path that is rapidly being reclaimed by the pond and isn’t even technically ours, we have no way to reach the pond itself. (Or, in Mainespeak, “You can’t get there from here.”)
While some might call it “swamp,” I prefer to describe our lakefront property as carbon-rich peatland.
It’s so inaccessible that I’ve never even bothered to try and find where it ends. It’s just… over there.
But now, thanks to COVID-era restlessness and spikes that keep my feet from slipping, I’ve declared this the winter for exploring the frozen and therefore navigable nether regions of the pond that’s a lake. My mission is to explore all the dips and slips and contours of that carbon-rich peatland.
This week I went down with my neighbor for my first exploration. And while we didn’t get very far, I did discover that someone else had pitter-patted across the ice before me. (Photo up top.) My neighbor thought it was a bird. I thought maybe a mouse. My footprint chart, I’m sure, would insist that it’s a Tasselled Wobbegong. So I’ll just let the mystery be.
“At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau