I have been superstitious about the ice on Spy Pond for years now - I have heard various scare-stories dating back to the 1920s (from my friend Carl, who grew up near the Pond) and just hadn't felt good about venturing out. But I finally got the scoop on inlets (none really) and other hazards (none really) and a reliable thickness (9 inches, now more like 12-14) and so we went this morning. We'd been at Flint Pond in Tyngsboro on Sunday, but the ice wasn't great, leading us to stay mainly on the bumpy but reliable plowed-track. The ice at Spy Pond was still not perfect, with snow patches and some wider cracks and lots of fishing-hole remnants to avoid - but it is such a fun venue for skating. We had a great look at a hawk who didn't seem to comprehend that we were humans to be wary of (there something about seeing wildlife from an unexpected angle; I encounter this while swimming as well), and we saw the Blue Jays who flirted with harrassing her. There were also hidden Blue Jays mimicking the hawk's call, which seemed to irritate Ms. Hawk.
Plus, we got to look at the back side of all the fancy houses along Pleasant Street, another thrill. We got to get close to Elizabeth Island in the middle to see what life was like there. We got to watch cars going up the hill of Route Two. We ran into other wild-skating friends - the local ringleader Tom, and Josie from our first year of skating at Bay State. She is properly Dutch and a lover of outdoor ice. The fire department came as we were leaving to do an ice-rescue drill. Some little kids are going to love that - the junior firefighter who "gets" to fall in, not so much.
Sliding around on the ice admits you to another world - it's a limited-time admission and I'm trying not to kick myself for not getting out last week though in fairness that was a ridiculously busy week! But we'll try once again tomorrow morning before the snow flies.