Walking around the second pond, which was completely iced over, I spotted an odd shaped blueish blob just under the surface of the ice. It did not move as I approached.
I got too close to the boggy edge and one leg sank in up past my knee! Trying to hold my camera up out of the muck and reach a small stick to put under my other foot, I made quite a bit of noise, but the blueish blob showed no signs at all of hearing me. Was it even still alive?
Finally free of the muck (with the muck-&-water-filled boot still on!), I found a way to get close enough to break the ice with a stick. Even this ruckus did not disturb blueish blob. I finally poked at her tail and she stretched out her hind feet a little, then eased away from my stick and resumed her quiet wait – for a meal to pass by?