WHITIN’S POND – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #22: Pond

Whiten’s Pond isn’t really a pond. It’s really a widening of the Blackstone River before the dam. Most of our ponds are really widened parts of a river with the exception of Webster pond, the word I cannot pronounce or spell.

I guess I can add one of that also. That’s a true pond. Maybe it’s a lake. It’s big enough and deep enough.

That would be Lake Chargoggaggoggmancogmanhoggagogg.

On the pond in summer

Twilight at the pond

Flying across the pond

Autumn at Lake Chargoggaggoggmancogmanhoggagogg

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SOMEWHERE IN SUTTON

We were actually heading for one place, but the pond we were trying to get to was accessible only by a private road. Residents only. Rich people territory. This is where we ended up. The only problem is, I’m not sure where we were other than “somewhere in Sutton.”

There were ducks and geese on the pond, as well as a couple of beaver. Kaity got a shot of the beaver, but I was too slow. For all that, it was a good afternoon shoot.

This is the end of autumn, just before it becomes winter in the valley.

ANOTHER LOOK AT MANCHAUG – GARRY ARMSTRONG

It’s always interesting shooting in tandem. You’ve got the same stuff to look at and some of your pictures are likely to be very similar. But the eyes are different.

The cameras have different lenses and no two photographers ever shoot the scene exactly the same way.

This is Garry’s look at Manchaug.

SEASONS OF SWANS – 2012 to 2013

This time of year, the swans are  huddled deep in leaves to keep warm. Today, it’s raining, washing away the snow cover and the bitter cold will not return for at least a few days. It will give the swans a breather. I hope they are able to survive this terrible cold we’ve been having. This is a year and a half of the swans on Whitins Pond.

DRIVING ALL NIGHT, THEN ALL DAY

Back in college, my housemate Micki had a tall boyfriend and a VW bug. Her boyfriend’s best friend had rich parents and a hunting lodge on a lake in the Adirondacks. One Friday evening, Micki and her beau grabbed me and said “We’re going to the lake. Come on.”

I didn’t have any plans, so we climbed into the bug and headed north. No one had any money. I don’t mean we didn’t have a lot of money. We didn’t have any money. I didn’t own a wallet or a driver’s license. Or an official ID. You didn’t need it in those days. Hard to believe, but it was normal to walk around with no money or ID. No cell phones (what’s a cell phone?). I suppose some women carried makeup and stuff, but not me.

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Odd girl out, I sat in the back behind the very tall driver folded like a pretzel. Along the way, we got hungry but lacking money, we didn’t eat. It was a long drive from Long Island to the top of the Adirondacks. The car got hungry too and unlike people, it couldn’t wait. So we saved fuel by coasting down mountains, restarting the engine to go uphill.

We got to the house on the lake just after dawn. It was beautiful, mist rising on the lake. We were exhausted. So was the bug having made the journey on fumes. No rest for the weary. The sun was up. We had to be sociable.

It was some house. Huge, more like a hotel. I wondered what their regular house looked like. Wooden steps led down to a dock and boat. I met Micki’s boyfriend’s friend. We sort of hung out. He made a half-hearted attempt to neck with me, but my disinterest was obvious and he gave up.

After sex was taken off our dance card, he walked me to the lake for a swim. I had borrowed someone’s bathing suit. He dove off the dock. When he surfaced, I called to him. “How is it?”

75-TwilightWebsterLake-3

“Not bad,” he said. So I dove in too and my heart almost stopped. That water was as close to ice as I’ve ever experienced. I thought I was going to die, and porpoise-like leapt back onto the dock, a feat I’ve never matched since.

“What do you mean by ‘not bad'” I squawked.

“It can be a lot colder,” he assured me. We sat for a while on the dock. There were a lot of round holes in the wood.

“What are those holes?”

“Bullet holes,” he said.

“Bullet holes?”

“I shoot the spiders,” he said. “With the rifle.” I hadn’t noticed it, but there it was. Probably for target shooting. But … shoot at spiders? That’s when the biggest spider I’ve ever seen ambled onto the dock. It was the size of my hand … maybe bigger. Black. Furry.

He grabbed the rifle and shot it.

That did it for me. I found Micki, told her to saddle up. We were going home. The two of us begged and borrowed gasoline money and leaving her boyfriend at the lake, headed home. We hadn’t slept in days. I didn’t drive, but Micki was okay as long as I kept poking her to keep her awake.

It was most spontaneous life would ever be for me. Living with Micki was full of surprises. She was a terrible roomie. Never had the rent, ate all my food, borrowed my stuff, never returned anything. And she was the most fun of anyone with whom I ever shared space.