There is one other man on the lake in the dawn and he, far more than myself, is the natural focus of this picture. For he is old—85, his granddaughter told me—with thin white hair falling in thin ringlets to his shoulders and a beard down to his chest. When I first came here a decade ago, he ice skated at this hour, his head bowed and his hands behind his back. His hair was shorter then. But a stroke took the certainty out of his legs—and made the left side of his face alternately taut and trembling—so that he no longer trusts himself on the blades. Now he brings a lantern to a hole in the ice and dangles maggots on silver hooks for perch. He is out here now, silhouetted in the glow. His granddaughter, whom I have not seen for several years, made our introduction. I’d driven to the lake because I heard the duck hunting was good, but being unable to find access near the community, I had taken a gravel road out along the shore and stopped at the first ranch house, situated on a point at the mouth of a cove. A young woman was pulling out of the drive in a pickup, and we both rolled down our windows with the engines running.