Rhoads Pond in the Cold
Walked out onto the rock bridge again today, and spent a lot of time just kneeling on the rocks and staring out at the water. The ripples kept coming, but these are air ripples, not caused by what was going on underneath the water, but more by the heavy breeze that was blowing. It kept pushing the water in wave-like ripples toward the bridge I was sitting on. When I looked directly by the rocks, I noticed I could not see the continuous waves; I could only see the movement from afar, from up close, it looked as if the wave movement was blocked by the marshy grass and plant growth. Then I realized that you just needed wider perspective in orer to see, to actually stand up and look out at the larger body of water. The bigger picture. I found this fascinating, and kept changing my position to better see the waves. It was very very cold today, and sitting in the middle of the pond on the rocks was very exciting. I felt very awake and focused and aware. I also got to see how physically the breeze was affecting us all--the stemmed plants in the lake, the reeds, the water itself, and me. I had to pull on a puffy winter coat, gloves, and hood in order to sit outside. It was neat to feel mutually affected by the weather, and to, for once, be paying attention to these affects. I wore better shoes this time so I could spend more time walking around the area. I was, in this way, able to walk all the way to the dirt hill in the middle of the pond, and was thinking of going further, but the area was blocked by more reeds. I suddenly found myself wondering whether there were any snakes in this area, and considered what a great place this would be for snakes to be. So I decided not to go any further, and turned back around.
I spent some more time on the rock bridge, looking at the water. Since it was very cloudy outside, for once I could see the contents of the lake more clearly. Otherwise, all I could see was the reflection of the surrounding reeds and treess and plant growth on the water surface. So looking at the contents from the rocks, I could see where a lot of the surrounding trees' leaves were falling. Underneath these was a green film, not sure what that was. There were so many leaves on the bottom of one side of this bridge. The other side was covered in rocks which had many different growths on them. Some were colored orange, and others green on the sides. I was wondering how deep this lake must be.
When I was leaving the rock bridge, something shot out and ran to hide in a pile of branches and leaves. I stood waiting to see whether it would run back, and took a couple steps forward, seeing whether it would, and it did. It turned out to be a mouse, as far as I could tell. I found myself shocked; it's funny, I remember taking to think of mice as rodents that spent all their time in houses, or finding homes with humans, to stay out of the cold in the winter especially. I had wondered where they would stay to stay warm in the winter, and to see one running so fast back and forth amongst the leaves was exciting and a little disconcerting too. It's the first time I've gotten to see a mouse in a non-manmade habitat.
Walking around to the side right inside the fence in front of the tree I usually sit under, I got to see the leaves even more up close. I noticed that some had started decaying. Some were completely white, some translucent. It made me think of a graveyard in a strange way, as if some plague had taken over, and all these leaves had gathered together in death. Their last resting place, yet they were all so close, such a close community.
Last week's site sit, I had noticed the dam through which the water was running, and I wanted to see if I could manage to stand on top of the cement dam. I walked through the trees, and had to push aside some of the plants that were hard, no longer green, covered with shedding leaves and stems to be able to stand on top of the ledge. From there, I could look on to the water, and clearly see the water coming from underneath the dam, which was flowing steadily. The dirt hill on this side was outlined with lines of rocks and stones. I could see that some of the space which had earlier been part of the hill had been eventually covered in the water. It became part of the pond. I left the place finally, and on my way back to the fence, I felt a scratch and noticed this:
It surprised me so much to see this, because I hadn't even noticed or felt these burrs attach to the cloth. They had also attached to my pants which were of the same cloth. I couldn't get them off for a while, they were so firmly attached. I had to take off my gloves to be able to take them off with my fingers carefully. It was so interesting to notice how fast these plants worked.
Moving around the site was helping me find more to notice and feel more a part of the setting rather than just in the observer's role. I got to acknowledge how I was being affected by my surroundings as well for the first time, rather than just watching other elements be affected.