I’m guessing you can tell from all the pond shots over the years, that we really love our pond.
A friend described it as sort of like a big outdoor rug, the decorating element that anchors the room—in this case, our outdoor room.
And I’d have to agree, though I’d put it a little differently. It’s the gravitational pull of our property that draws all living things to it. For its calming, meditative effect. For its nourishment. And for the opportunity it provides for good old-fashioned fun. You can’t come here and spend any time outside without your eyes and body turning toward it. It’s kind of magical that way.
But back to the old-fashioned fun part. We love to skate. And sometimes Mother Nature supports that objective, but just as often she doesn’t.
You see, the first freeze is critical. Many factors have to align. It has to be below freezing for several days. It has to not snow until the ice is at least 3 inches thick. The first snow has to be dry, because if it’s wet it softens the ice as it falls, which creates a crust on the ice, which is bad.Â Temperatures have to stay below freezing after it snows or we won’t be able to keep the pond shoveled. If it all doesn’t happen just right, it can doom our chances to skate on our pond for an entire winter!
So we all held our breath when we got our first snow before the ice had formed. Not typically a good beginning, because the ice that forms from snow is bumpy, crusty, inconsistently thick, and therefore not really safe.
As the snow continued to fall throughout the day at not quite freezing temps, and the pond started forming a slushy crust, we all found ourselves checking the ongoing ice status– even the dogs.
Then, lo and behold, the temperature precipitously dropped. The winds blew. And the ice formed. And…
it was perfect.
For us, this is more exciting than Christmas morning!