greenwood ledge

R.'s photo of the ledge

R.’s photo of the ledge


We shoed Twitchell Pond last week, from the cove where a short fall turns the water white with stream leading away southward. Rounding the shore we saw the great ledge soaring over the pond. I’ve written of this ledge in MAINE METAPHOR—means a lot to me. I wrote in the book about being unable to climb, to ascend this ledge, looking to loons to see how they could be do such a feat, because loons are heavy, their flight cumbersome. One gigantic cleft of the ledge splits its face.


It was a gray day and yet we were excited and impressed the closer we came to this ledge: mighty, inspiring the local awe, where ledges abound and soar. Its great rock face is sheared from glacial wasting-and-refreezing long ago. On other town ledges, such as that pictured in the previous post, snow on horizontal striations make mountainous ledges appear colossal cakes—frosted and ready-to-eat by giants. We hoped to return, camera in hand, capturing images of its cleft and craggy face reflecting late sunlight. Today’s gloom was not quite right for it.

The other day might have worked for sunlight. We took the car to Twitchell but couldn’t park at the accustomed spot near its end. So we drove along the shore, past camps and woods, searching for place to pull off. Plow-banks prevent parking along roads in the Western Maine mountains, but we found a narrow shoulder next the shore where, oddly, a pink flamingo stuck out of hardened snow. Another was buried nearby. Out we went, keeping near shore, tromping along, conditions far from the best. Afternoon sun limned clouds above hills off our right shoulders.  It might be shining on that ledge….

Twitchell is reportedly one of the spring fed ponds. Small tributaries from this opposite shore flow, slightly, into it.  Maybe I did not get the rumor quite right?

From here the ledge looks far, far away, its back turned towards us, clad in dark firs. Maybe a mile and more on the shoes and wind and poor conditions underfoot, hard where snow cover is scant.

Walking on water close to shore in winter gives a different view. In summer one might paddle along the banks to see hidden camps lining, but many would be occupied. You would not want to paddle close-in. Everything looks different out here on the pond. You see all from various perspective unknown from your usual road, in this case called the Greenwood Road (also Town Road).

We go alongshore to the weedy shallows (as they appear in summer), and then cross toward the opposite side, steady wind more moderate now we don’t face it. We watch shoreline camps draw near as we approach. Conifers surround some of these camps, dark eaves of boughs hanging out over the snowy ice.

Suddenly, before me, I see R’s track submerging in wet snow, no ice, no—water! I epp a bit and he tries to turn. Then truly turns, with one great shoe on end, slush clinging. Turning to ice!!

We haul back round. I notice my own shoes heavier. He lifts his webbed heels and hits the harder surface we have gained.

Ice fell off in hunks to our relief. And we knew then we’d experienced the rumor (as we’d perhaps thought it)—experienced as actual fact: this pond is fed by springs.

The mighty ledge, whose rock face was hidden would be there for perhaps one million other sunny days—and we wanted to get back to the further shore, finish our shoeing there, get back to the car, relieved.

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