9:19:23 PM

photo: dead painted turtle

The sudden cold this week shocked us into spending too much time
indoors. We had to walk it off and breathe in some clean, fresh,
unheated air for a change. The sun was bright, but even the bigger
lakes around us are freezing over. Birds cluster in any open water
that remains.

Our own little pond is covered with ice. Just as I was thinking
it looked like amber with leaves frozen inside, I spotted a
two-inch-long painted turtle, not in the ice, but on top of it. I
brought him inside in the futile hope that he might just be cold,
but he was dead. I returned him to the outdoors after taking this

I hope our pond can help support a few living turtles next year.

Later we had a couple of impromptu dinner guests, but it was
still relaxed, informal – a pleasure to share food and friendship
for a few hours. We sent them home with a fresh-baked loaf of bread,
hot out of the oven (good thing I made two! :-)).