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Country view: Ponds

"Country view" asks you to address subjects on which you are the experts. This month you shared your best pond stories.
Bill and Lou Ann Hoppe enjoy spending time around their 4-acre pond.

Our farm pond; Long Pond

Our farm pond

Our 4-acre pond is the centerpiece of our farm residence. The clean shoreline with adjoining pine and hardwood trees creates a park-like setting that invites all kinds of outdoor activities.

For instance, we enjoy walking our three dogs along the shore, where they have been known to take an unauthorized dip in the water. The pond is stocked with largemouth bass, hybrid bluegill perch, crappie, and channel catfish. It's also great fun to take our grandkids fishing under the shade trees.

The atmosphere on and around the pond is very therapeutic. Just watching the ripples on the water is all you need to shift into the relaxation mode. It's not unusual to spot a hungry blue heron stalking baitfish in the shallows, to watch deer graze in the nearby oat patch, or to just relax in the boat anchored out in the middle of the pond, listening to the wind whistle through the trees.

We enjoy our place year-round. In the spring, the fish spawn and the lake comes alive with new growth. During the heat of the summer, we take the boat out for a cruise in the late afternoon. Come fall, the hardwood trees along the banks grace us with their beautiful bronze-colored leaves. In the morning coolness of winter, you can observe a flock of mallard ducks paddling around. Just minutes after a fall sunrise, the contrast of the still-warm pond against the cold, dry outside air creates the image of a huge steaming cup of coffee.

Bill Hoppe, Nacogdoches, Texas

Long Pond

The call of the loons and afternoons in the hot summer sun make the serpentine drive around Long Pond a moment of bliss and beauty in northern New Hampshire. My family has called the hill near this pond home for 40 years. Fishermen pull their cars over and unload their little boats and tend to spend morning and afternoons here.

Commuters from the neighboring towns just amble along and see the pond changing with the seasons. There are perhaps more beautiful and bigger lakes around the next corner, so although this is quaint spot, it is most likely forgettable to most. To my family, it is where kids have grown up looking at the crayfish, canoed with their husbands and wives to-be, and where sorrows or joys were given to the sky after sitting a long time on the dock or blueberry island.

Jumping off the makeshift dock into its cooling waters always carried the consideration of snapping turtles and water snakes. Long Pond is dangerously beautiful and frankly, it is mostly the habitation of wild things. My family must be sort of wild to have stayed there so long.

The pine tree boughs at the edge of the pond hang low in its deep velvety water where my dogs frolic. The deciduous colors of fall entertain and have inspired the inner artist many times. Frogs croak, whippoorwills sing at night and lily pads perfume the day. Although Long Pond is a sleepy spot, a place one will probably pass by, it has been an ever-faithful friend. It has been seasonally consistent, and yet, listened and promised not to tell.

Jane Wilcox Hively, North Conway, New Hampshire

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