story at the side of a photograph

This picture is not the full story. Some yards to the left of this large pond of a pot-hole the land slopes, tufts of stiff dead grass stand up to patches of thick ice that is thawing in the sunny but still frigid, windy day. Smoothed to slipperiness the melting ice sends you on a precarious, heart-throbbing slide onto a quarter mile long spread of matte silver-blue pebbles, some jaggedly shaped, some, once you've caught your breath, tempting the game of tic tac toe. In just about every one you can find etched the curl and tread mark of an ancient life form. There is then slanting to the water ahead, a slip of gray-brown wet sand in which is reflected the blue of the sky and the range of whites and greys of the fast moving clouds, more vibrant than the real thing. On the dense sand sit stray pebbles that cast long elliptical shadows behind them. Here and there large slabs of flat stone lie, thrust high above the water, inviting forays onto them. Boulders of varying sizes and shapes, precursors to future pebbles, wear hoods of thick ice that in melting creates a fringe of icicles. All the while the sound of waves running to shore, some breaking on the water, some making it to shore, breaking on the sand, competes with the sound of the wind out on the water. Farther out the undulating lake water, is today in shades of green. Chunks of unmelted ice on the unbroken crests of heaving water bob, a a line of sludge of it crinkles, catching the low light, glinting like surface sparklers, shards of glass tinkling like a wind chime. The waves break, smaller splashes and larger crashings, lake water washes up, scampers, in places it makes large sweeping arcs, and swirls around any attempts at obstruction. It slows to a crawl, it creeps, it turns and slides back and becomes one again with its larger embracing body. If you turn away from that and begin your walk back up to the car, the picture above is what you'll see. The entrance to the park became a treacherous skating rink yesterday, then the heavy rain of last night and the sudden rise in temperature today melted it all to create this pond of now dirt-coloured water. It will dry eventually, but it won't necessarily allow easier entrance to the...

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