The Pond

Jul-17-2001 The day dawns cloudy and humid. A summer storm can be felt gathering itself on the horizon. I quickly fill the various feeders at the edge of the clearing around the cabin, silently thanking everyone who built them or installed them there. In this season of plenty there is no real need of them; but they are still enjoyed by the dwellers of the woods and sky who visit them for a treat. I pull the few weeds that have grown in the flower beds; and return to the porch to sit and enjoy the quiet beauty of the woods that insulate me from the busy world just a few miles away. Later today I will finish laying the block around the little pond I have built. Already it has almost a foot of water in it; and soon I will be able to move the water lillies from the plastic tubs they are outgrowing. The fish will be glad of more room to swim too. But for now my unfinished poem calls me from the table by the window; and I must answer that call.

Jul-20-2001 Muscles aching I drag the last tub to the edge of the pond and lift the potted water lilly out and set in on the edge of the pond. Tipping the tub I let it's contents spill into the pond, setting the last of the koi free, then step into the pond to arrange the water lillies on the blocks I've put in to raise them up enough for when the pond is full and to give the fish somewhere to hide in the winter. The water is knee deep now; and soon I won't be able to wade around like this without getting my clothes wet. I stack a few extra concrete blocks up to make a pedestal for the whimsical frog statue in the middle of the water lillies then carefully unwrap it and set it up, plugging it's pump in to watch it spit a stream of water into the pond and make tiny ripples among the lilly pads. It looks funny sitting almost a foot out of the water; but in my mind I can see the pond already full and the water lillies blooming around it. It won't be long either if it keeps raining the way it has been. I make sure the intake for the waterfall is still clear, then climb out. I'd much rather just sit here; but I need to put the tubs away and clean up my mess first. And there's still some hostas and marginal plants to plant too.

Jul-24-2001 Stepping back to survey my handiwork, I grin in anticipation. The new GFI outlet is hidden from casual view. Carefully I seat the bulbs and snap on the colored covers for the floating lights. One each red, green, and blue. I have to try them all to see which one I like best. Snaking the cords through the plants and rocks around the waterfall so they'll be hidden too, I place the lights in the pond in a semi circle just at the edge of the ripples from the waterfall. Now if it would just get dark........ I carry the boxes and tools back to the cabin and put things away before mixing a drink and carrying it out to the porch to watch the sunset.

Sep-22-2001 Finally it is dark; and I flip the switch to the lights. Fixing a fresh drink, I carry it down to the pond. The lights float gently on the water, casting a soft glow on the surrounding vegetation. Too many colors I realise; but I love the lights themselves. Tomorrow I'll change the blue and the red ones to green. I dangle my feet in the water, and lean back against a rock. The colored light reflecting off the ripples from the waterfall makes an every changing pattern on the surface of the pond; and I sit watching and sipping my drink. It is so peaceful here right now.

Mar-7-2002 Finished with my morning chores, I fix a glass of ice tea and wander out onto the porch for a few minutes before getting to work. It's so quiet here during the week. The sun is so warm and bright this morning; and I walk around the front yard for a while just looking at what is blooming and what is just starting to grow. There are some new hyacinth just starting to grow in some of the cooler places while those in the warmer spots are almost finisihed blooming. The daffodils and late season tulips are just coming up in front of the wall by the hot tub. I'll have to remove all the leaves soon I think. But we're sure to have more cold nights so not quite yet. As I wander down by the pond, I notice the koi are moving around a little in the bright sun; but the water temperature is still in the 40s. Too cold to turn on the fountains on yet; but it would be good to hear the waterfall running again. I think I'll remove the netting that keeps the leaves from getting into the pond and backflush the filter this afternoon. But for now it's time to get to work.

Apr-10-2002 After two hours of wading I have vacuumed the whole bottom of the pond, running the water through a temporary filter set up above the waterfall to remove all the debris from last year. I make sure that all the dead leaves and stems are removed from the water lilies then check all the connections and hoses to the fountains. Finally I check the intake lines for the pump too. Everything seems to be in good shape after the winter; and I climb out of the pond and out of those darned waders I had to wear because of the chilly water temperature. As I climb out, the frogs that fled my intrusion into their world jump back into the pond; and the koi begin to gather to see if food is in the offing.

I get a container of fish food from the shed; and dole it out slowly, checking the koi as they eat. They all appear healthy and hungry after the mild winter except for a missing white one. I wonder if one of the raccoons that frequent the pond somehow managed to get it until I see a dark shadow in the water. Watching carefully for a few minutes, I see it several more times. Somehow my white butterfly koi has changed colors; and now I have a black koi instead. "Yes!" I say, grinning happily because I have been unsuccessfully looking for a black koi to buy to add to the pond; and now the fish has made that search no longer necessary. Briefly I wonder how that can happen; but I am getting hungry and file that question in my mind for later research.

Very pleased, I return the food container to the shed; and turn on the pumps for the fountains. With the new sensors I've installed, the pumps will turn off when the water temperature goes down to 50 degrees and will turn on again when it climbs back up to 50 degrees. One less thing to monitor I think; but I also know that I will manage to replace it with something else.

Detouring into the cabin, I fix two sandwiches, pour a glass of milk, and carry it all back down by the pond to eat. Settling down with my back against my favorite rock near the waterfall, I eat my sandwich and look around. I'll need some fresh mulch here and there; but otherwise the pond is ready for the year. As I sit quietly, the frogs begin to emerge again to sit in their favorite sunning spots, waiting for any bugs that come along. The koi swim lazily, picking at patches of algae that have started to grow on the rocks that make the walls of the pond. Behind me, the hyacinths along the retaining wall below the hot tub fill the air with their sweet fragrance.

Mutt, Katt, and Mama soon join me, looking for their share of the extra sandwich they're sure I've fixed. I dole it out to them as I drink my milk, getting more and more sleepy as the warmth of the sun and the splashing of the waterfall and fountains combine to drive out any sense of urgency about doing anything.

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This page begun on 03 Feb 2002.       Daydreamer 2002-2004