"A thing of beauty is a joy forever", wrote John Keats. Sometimes the beauty is just glimpsed; other times it fills the senses and spills over begging to be shared. Having a beautiful pond was a dream for me; now, I can share that dream and my pond.

Spring fed, the pond is a one hundred and fifty foot circle with a fifteen foot island, reachable from a sixty foot ramp. The depth varies from six to fourteen feet. Excavated in August of 1979, the pond began to fill with water at a rate of four inches a day until it reached its static level. It is beautiful. The trees I planted are fifteen feet high, blending the pond into the wild. The shade is helping control the high temperature extremes. Some wood ducks, a few Canada geese, and deer visit regularly; mink, muskrat, marten and beaver make furtive evening arrivals. Blue herons check for frogs and fish but prefer the stream that bends in for a closer look forty feet away. An untrimmed ten foot wide strip along the shoreline increases the habitat for birds and insects - all part of the larger food chain.

My family and their friends, especially my nieces and nephews, love fishing or "just seeing what I am up to at the pond this year" when they too need a change from the tangled bytes and bits of their world. We fish, have skating and hockey at Christmas and New Year's. An 1890's cedar log cabin moved to the shoreline by my oldest son and me provides shelter and camping. Henry David Thoreau would move in if he could. William Butler Yeats must have been inspired by a similar setting when he wrote The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. I call it Arcadia.

The pond is a traditional setting with an atmosphere of rustic simplicity. Here, friends share much more than a pond and its cabin. Skating and laughter, nature walks and relaxation, skiing and putting sticks in the wood stove, - these are activities which create memories often "recollected in tranquillity" and fondly cherished forever.

Arcadia: originally, a region of ideal rustic contentment in Greece; presently, O'Grady's Arcadia
Walden: a place in Concord, Massachusetts, U.S., site of Thoreau's famous WALDEN POND
Innisfree: a location, inspired by an island in Lough Gill, near Sligo, Ireland