Today’s morning nature walk revealed two contrasting worlds…
Tossing and turning, I awoke at 5:30AM and decided to just make an early start of it. I would leave my house at sunrise, shortly after 7 o’clock for a nature walk on this beautiful October morning. I headed up RT. 67 into Southbury and onto Transylvania Road — appropriate for this time of year. Continuing my drive for several miles heading towards Woodbury, I noticed there was an awful lot of fog out today. Now, as a ‘glass half full kinda gal,’ I thought, “No problem…it will lift as soon as the sun comes out.” I made my way up Transylvania Road, turning into the sloping dirt path that leads to Janie Pierce Park. I had never been there before, but had read about it on the Internet and figured it would be a very scenic spot for some foliage photos. As a “Transylvania Pond Virgin” so-to-speak, I was eager to see what it looked like. This could be fun!
My upbeat outlook was short-lived. My mood slowly began to shift as fear started to grip me while descending the foggy narrow passageway to Transylvania Pond. The fog was so thick at this point, you could cut it with a knife. Not the best time to remember what I read on the Web yesterday that Transylvania Pond is a 35-acre manmade pond dating back to the late 1800′s located within Janie Pierce Park, a town-owned park situated astride the Southbury/Woodbury townline. Deep into the woods, it is rumored to be a popular location for satanic rituals.
To my dismay, the fog is taking longer to lift than anticipated. Swerving to avoid an enormous mud puddle, I parked my car, grabbed my cell phone and camera (along with my courage), ‘bit the bullet’ and exited my SUV. There I was, a solitary soul in the most unearthly of places. I began my journey down the twisty, rutted, leaf-covered pathway. Clearly, I was entering the depths of hell. Even the silence was muffled by the impenetrable fog. The only sound I heard was my heart beating almost rhythmically in tune with the morning dew drops as they dripped and splashed on the fallen leaves. I said to myself, “Get a grip, girl” and decided to make the best of it. First, I checked email. Well, that only killed a few seconds. I took a look around and figured the eerie backdrop of the sun peaking through the fog would make for some intriguing photos for the time being, so I raised my camera to my eye and began to snap away. I knew I could last a few more minutes until the sun would reveal itself. But, I questioned — exactly what else would it reveal?
As I clicked off a few photos, a sudden rustling sound startled me. Squinting and straining to see what it was, I could barely make out a faint outline of a prehistoric-looking figure rising from the fog. “What the hell was that?” I thought. Slicing through the fog curtain was one of my favorite creatures to photograph — a Great Blue Heron who was escaping to the safety of the nearby marshlands. I exhaled and concluded that I must’ve frightened him as much as he frightened me!
A few moments later, finally, the sun beams began to burn their way through the thick blanket of morning fog. To my delight and relief, I was now surrounded by a completely different world that was no longer muddied with doom and gloom. As the sun emerged, it kissed my face gently and away sank the dank and dreary world surrounding me, as though it had been swallowed up by the pond itself. Into the depths of hell it vanished to make way for this magical new world.
The sun — in all its glory — had transformed this bleak, murky dwelling into a vibrantly alive kaleidoscope of warm autumnal hues. Slowly, the forest came alive! Birds chirped, ducks quacked, and an egret’s majestic wings flapped overhead. I heard a comforting sound of a barking dog in the distance as if to say, “Good morning and welcome, my friend.”
In mere minutes, I had just experienced Jekyll and Hyde in the form of Transylvania Pond.