My exploration of Fort Frederick State Park’s beaver pond begins with the subject encased in ice.

 

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Low-angle sun lights up the wooded shore.  A stillness and silence give the impression that time itself is frozen.

 

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Many of the pond’s inhabitants are slumbering at the bottom of the pond. But, some animals are still active.

 

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Here, a fresh gash in a tree documents recent beaver activity.

 

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There, I hear the tap-tapping of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in a tree.

 

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The sapsucker turns its back, revealing a color pattern that resembles lacy shawl.

 

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On the naked branches of a sycamore, a seed ball dangles like the ringer of a bell waiting to be rung.

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