Thursday, February 10, 2011

Outside the garden gate

Just outside our back gate, behind the hedges (which I didn't trim last fall), the vineyards begin. Our road ends and becomes a series of tractor paths among the vine parcels. At that point is a small pond, artificial, but alive with plants, frogs, and fish. When the weather's very cold, the pond ices over.

Airline contrails reflected in the still pond water outside our back gate.

The pond is fed by runoff from the vineyard and it drains down into the woods just north of us (the woods you can see in the photo). The water makes its way into a gully that ends in the Cher River about a mile away. The pond is there, ostensibly, as a reservoir to fight fires. It hasn't been put to that use since we've been here and I hope we never need it. We see neighborhood people, mostly kids, fishing from it from time to time. I've never seen anyone swim in it; I don't think anyone would want to, let alone be allowed to.

Early on in our time here we were in the midst of a heat wave and drought. The water level in the pond got very low and the town trucked water up from the river to replenish it. These days, especially this year, we've been getting a lot of rain and the pond overflows down the path toward the woods. That makes our walks in that direction with the dog very squishy.


  1. You need to add these photos and words and create a book about the beauty of your side of the world. I'm totally serious.
    Your Friend, m.

  2. What beautiful reflections. Aren't dogs great. Without them we wouldn't see nearly as much of the beautiful world.

  3. Are you familiar with the conspiracy theory that those aren't vapor trails, but gases that are being dropped on us to alter the way we think?

  4. Lovely picture. In Maine, those are called fire ponds, and if I had a farm (or vineyard), I'd want one, too.

  5. mark, like, totally, dude.

    kristi, that's for sure!

    starman, hadn't heard that one, until now. Should I be worried?

    emm, I've never heard that term! The funny thing is that we have a fire hydrant pretty close to it.


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