A pond can seem to be many things. A fishing hole. A fallen piece of sky. A secret lair of magical beasts and ancestors. To some of us a pond might be a lake instead, because there is no consistent definition of those labels based on size, outflow or anything else other than personal preference: Follensby Pond is about the same size as Meacham Lake, for instance, and both have river outlets. What you see in a pond is largely a reflection of yourself, and as a scientist I tend to focus on species and ecological processes in the waters of the Adirondacks. But as a human being I also savor the mirrored colors that ripple and shift with winds and seasons, and I enjoy pondering the mysteries of life in and around waters that have stirred human imaginations through the ages.

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