Dead Horse Pond as it looks today.

Dead Horse Pond as it looks today.

The Thanksgiving morning sky was a bright blue, and the air was crisp, if not a bit cold. The turkey was in the oven with a couple hours to go, so I decided to take a short walk down to Dead Horse Pond just down the hill from where I live.

The dry spell we’ve been having has taken its toll – many small ponds and streams are dried up or reduced to a trickle, Dead Horse Pond included.

With the sun so low on the horizon, the shadows of leafless trees stretched out towards the middle of the pond, or what was left of it. The only water left was an oversized puddle left over from Wednesday’s rain I was able to walk completely across what had been pond. Now it was just a carpet of dead leaves and grass. No dead horse, either. Not even a decent set of bones.

I was surprised by how flat it was. Most of the pond – when it’s there – is ringed by fairly steep banks that run right down to the water’s edge. I had expected these would continue downward under water, forming a bowl-like bottom. Instead, it was saucer-shaped, much shallower than I had thought. If it doesn’t refill, and grass springs up instead, it’ll look just like any other small meadow.