Down at Quansoo, in midwinter, ice locks land and water in solid embrace.
Tisbury Great Pond, Quansoo’s eastern boundary, freezes into a hundreds-of-acres plane of ice. The flatness of this ice expanse transitions to the flatness of our glacial outwash plain, which rise so gently that even miles away, one can still be less than twenty feet above sea level. So many square miles of flatness are little seen elsewhere in rocky New England.
Down on the beach, where sand meets pond, ice presses land.
At the boundary grow lumpen, contorted icy crenellations.
Wind has covered scalloped drifts with sand.
The ice is thick, but rough.
On such a surface, skating is harsh and bumpy sport.
The pond is high, the ice presses into dunegrass areas that are usually dry.
In places the ice looks like a dinosaur’s ridged back.
In other places, grass is encased by frozen spray.
Closer still, here and there at the meeting place of ice and sand, are opaque, dendritic patterns, just below the surface.
I have no idea how these patterns are formed.
In the marsh grasses near Crab Creek are patches of white.
The marsh’s humid breath has frozen onto twig and stem.
Some stems have parallel towers of ice that sprout and grow straight away from their foundation.
And on other stems.