| Tom Driscoll |
Looking southward on Sabbathday Lake, the late afternoon midwinter sun reflects blindingly off the ice.
This past weekend was certainly cold and windy, no doubt. But natural shelter from a north wind is provided in the nearshore pocket along the north shoreline. Towering white pine trees reflect sunlight back down onto the ice, adding some additional warmth and comfort. Add lots of clothing layers and it is possible to have a pleasant day in the outdoors.
Our days are growing longer and providing more time for daytime play. The January 24th sunset is now at 4:41 p.m., a welcome lengthening of the day up from early 4:03 p.m. back in December.
Lots of little kids were out and about on ice skates, sometimes being pushed along on the downwind tack at surprisingly high speeds. Ice fishing groups were standing in solitude, here, there, and everywhere.
Saturday on Shaker Bog was nice for a solo bicycle ride on the ice, though slowly and safely along the shoreline. For some reason it is not easy to find bike riding partners in the winter.
At least a dozen beaver lodges are scattered about, but the beavers have not been seen since making their final winter preparations at Beaver Moon in November.
Chipman Farm in Poland seems always to have the commanding panoramic view looking down onto Shaker Bog. But from the vantage point of the beaver lodge in the bog, looking back uphill at the fields and the farm, all appears as a placid pastoral painting just before sunset.
Most of the Shaker Bog is actually in Poland except for the southwest corner which is clearly on “our side” in New Gloucester.
Life is nice in the winter on the ice.