So I start this morning's walk around Walden's shore with these milestones in mind and eyes open.
|Signs of the people's re-creation - swimming, fishing, boating, walking, reading, writing, rendering, communing|
|Bright morning sun meets clear water, and the dance of light in the pond begins another day.|
|A still green frog remains vigilant|
|Birch tree reflected (center)|
|Birch log submerged and bathed in light|
Great-spangled fritillary butterflies move quietly about in Little Cove.
Walking toward Long Cove, to the southwest, the eastern sun dances off the submerged cobbles and projects the shorelines green and gold across the pond's surface.
In the protected corner of the cove, young mallards are taking their mid-morning nap.
I take a detour across the tracks down to the Andromeda Ponds to check for blooms on Thoreau's still prolific colony of swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus). A serenade of wood thrush, scarlet tanager, towhee, blue-headed vireo, blue jays, redwing blackbirds, and a yellow-throat usher me along the path and then quiet in time for me to hear a rustling just in the woods above one of the ponds - a fisher. He digs, pounces, jumps, and twirls about as he hunts in the soft ground unfazed by my lingering.
Returning to the pond, more wildlife...a slaty skimmer dragonfly sits motionless on a rock.
Butter-and-eggs are bloom brightly around Ice Fort Cove, a flower whose scent Thoreau reported by moonlight near Walden on his birthday in 1851.
The shallow water in Ice Fort Cove forms a perfect watering hole as the footprints of the thirsty and playful are revealed.
Buttonbush blooms and fades at the mouth of Thoreau's Cove.
The light-play of ripple prisms continues into the cove, leading me to my second encounter this summer with the mysterious Eastern soft-shell turtle(s) that have made Walden their home since their likely release by some visitor over a decade ago. This one looks smaller than the one I met last month, so perhaps two still thrive.
The far-shore visitors are eager to engage today, sharing all manner of tales...and nearly everyone knows it is Thoreau's birthday! This long-time sun worshipper is paddling to the shade to take a break from the sun as his dermatologist has ordered.
Now with the sun high in the sky, the light play has lost some of its drama along the northern shoreline.
My circumambulation comes to an end where I started and the sounds of birds and lapping water are replaced with the hum of conversations, children laughing and splashing, and lifeguards on their megaphones.
Wildness meets re-creation around this blue eye of a pond.