Last Sunday, when it was sunny and cold, we went to the pond for some bird watching. I was hoping to see some gulls and geese that I saw flying over our yard from the pond. I was completely surprised to find the pond empty of birds and instead full of people. I do not know why I was so surprised but the week of subfreezing weather had completely frozen the pond and turned it into a natural ice rink.
My children were absolutely thrilled to see children playing hockey on the ice. There were several groups of them: the younger children who were supervised by their elders and this group of young men in a more secluded corner of the pond. There was also a father who was riding an ATV and pulling behind him a sled-full of thrilled little daughters.
I was more than thrilled to take photos (on zoom) of all the action happening on the pond. I found out, however, that taking surreptitious shots of people who were moving made photography a little more challenging than usual. I guess it would have been a lot simpler if I asked outright if I could watch and take photos but I was too shy to ask.
Anyway, before long, my family and I joined in the fun and crossed the pond in our sneakers. My children even tried to do their version of ice ‘skating’ sometimes to disastrous results. I, who was just walking nicely and carefully slipped and landed on my thankfully well-padded bottom with help from my right elbow. Fortunately, the camera on my hand survived the fall unscathed. The children had a great time playing with the cat tail puffs, blowing them in the wind, pulling out a reed and pretending to be kings.
There was someone, however, who was more adventurous than most of us. I saw him cycling across the pond. He stopped briefly to watch the teen aged players and puff on a cigarette wedged between his right hand fingers. He did not stay too long on the ice though. When I looked for him to get more shots of him and his bike, he was gone.
At last, the little children complained about being chilly. It was time to go home. By then, many of the pond people have left. Even the hockey teeners started to pack away their gears. What a serendipitously fun afternoon. Was I thrilled to see a pond ice skaters for real. It may be a long time before the birds nest in this place again. That depends on how long this freezing winter weather holds. For now, the pond belongs to the residents and all who care to enjoy some winter fun.
I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Now!