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On those mornings when the mist veils the mountains, it’s as if the pond itself were hidden, placed out of place, a secret. I rarely visit at those times, but it can be a refuge on unquiet days.

The Canada geese are late risers: one stands to realign its wings; the others remain asleep, heads nestled into their backs, their necks wrapped up like the cord on a put-away iron.

At the end of a low branch, a blackbird noisily celebrates the fat lime-green caterpiller wriggling from the end of its beak.

But it’s the two herons that make the walkers pause and the joggers turn their heads. Each is in its usual place: a preener in the lower pond, perched one-legged on one of the submerged tree branches where the turtles bask during the warm hours; in the upper pond, a stooped wader in the sheltered corner among the reeds.

Things to be done.