Thursday, December 17, 2009

Away from it all

The Getaway

Beside the deep end of our pond, where the stacked rows of concrete pavers line a narrow overflow and the tangled roots of a small stand of locusts wrap the tunnels of a den of muskrats, a few feet of weathered wooden planks extend onto the water, just beyond the edge. Perhaps we are wrong to call it a dock, for neither a boat, nor cargo, nor passengers arrive here.
Nothing is loaded.
And no one ever leaves.
Yet, often I find myself here, waiting—for something.
Passing time on its 23 faded boards has become my favorite getaway.

The pond in spring green

On the first sunny day after winter, I spend the morning here, and wait as tentative turtles of every size emerge, one by one, to bask on a log on the opposite shore. Like them, I seek the warmth of the sun, and lay motionless, under an April sky bursting with bluebirds and apple blossoms.

Red Maple keys of early summer

I visit often in the summer, when the heavy, leafy cover of the surrounding woods and the density of our brick walls topped by their impenetrable metal roofs leaves me missing my contact with the outside world. The cell phone tower just a few miles away cannot seem to find me in the midst of it all. Yet on the dock, everything’s right here—four bars of service, the water yawning before me.

Snapping turtle surfacing

Last summer, I woke from a nap to the sound of swirls beneath me. Face down on the boards, peering with one eye through a crack to the water below, I watched a huge snapping turtle rise from the belly of the deep, and glide from under me to open water. I snapped a picture, and she was gone.

Each fall I look to the branches of the old ash in the pasture behind me, where my barred owl watched me once from behind as I scanned every branch to the front of me. I still remember her with a smile—our game of hide and seek, her victory. Instead, it’s filled with a large flock of cedar waxwings that gathers to gorge on the honeysuckle berries of bushes I’ve yet to remove. Yes, yes, I know--there's already a list for spring.

I walk away from an inbox full of last-minute shipping offers, midnight shopping hours, lines of traffic and cherry-cheeked Santas--to the dock.
My perfect getaway always takes me just where I need it to.


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Wanda said...

Beautiful spring reflection and words Nina!

bobbie said...

Words about spring and summer are just what I need today.
Your photos are beautiful, as always.

Gail said...

Walking away form the holiday buzz is perfect...thanks for taking me along to the dock in summer to see your snapping turtle rise out of the water~~gail

holdingmoments said...

Really enjoyed sharing your 'getaway' Nina. It looks a beautiful place to be.

Julie said...

You write like an angel!

You have the sublime gift of being able to get right inside my mind's eye with your imagery and your stories. Quite wonderful. Quite wonderful.

What did you mean by "four bars of service"?

Oh, to have my own little dock at the edge of the bay.

kaholly said...

What a refreshingly, insightful post. I wish I had your gift for words to express my innermost feelings. I don't have a dock, for me it is my kayak. My ultimate escape, out where everything makes sense.

Randy Emmitt said...


Really bringing spring into my head here. The photo of the dock is stunning!

Our pond is next to the house and we enjoy it greatly. Still hearing Spring Peepers and on warm days we have Painted Turtles sunning where ever they choose.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Julie--by four bars of service, I'm referring to the strength of the cell phone signal, 4 being the strongest. Although the provider's map shows coverage for our entire area, only on the dock extending into the pond, can I reliably make or receive calls.

This season's greeting to you all!

Regina said...

Amazing captures. Beautiful scenes
Happy Holidays!

Elisabeth said...

This post makes me want to hop on a plane. Wonderful blue skies. Happy Holidays!

Eaglesbrother said...

Was that Santa in that Jet overhead?..making his way around the Modern World.?


Misty Dawn said...

My pond has become one of my favorite get aways too! You and I would get along just fine, I think.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful series of photos, Love the leaves and reflection shot.

The Tile Lady said...

Your pond and its flora and fauna is just the most serene and perfect of places to spend time alone. I love your photographs. I too would sit and wait on the dock...wait for the rest of the world to melt away completely.

All my best this Christmas! God's blessings to you and yours!


Vicky said...

Beautiful photos Nina. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice SWF!!!

JOE TODD said...

Been planning a Get Away of my own today.. Thanks for sharing yours