Friday, July 15, 2005


the pond Posted by Picasa

This is where I've been spending most of my evenings after work lately. We had this pond dug in 2003 to provide gravel for our driveway, which was a mess at the time. The front part of our property, towards the road, was at one time a gravel pit. You can still see some of the old banks and piles that were left from the gravel mining. I don't know why they stopped mining gravel here; maybe it wasn't high enough quality, or maybe since it is right at the edge of the gravel deposit, maybe there wasn't enough to be worthwhile digging. When we first bought the property, the area where the pond is was a low spot, too low for haying, and thick with willows.

The pond is maybe 10 or 12 feet at its deepest. We had the backhoe operator dig as deep as he could, with the idea of using the pond to raise fish. The depth allows groundwater to seep in and maintain the pond's level; in two years we have not yet had low water. It also provides water that is much cooler than the surface water, cool enough for trout. The pond has filled in somewhat with sand and silt but there are still parts that are over my head. The area where the kids swim is shallow enough for them, but it drops off steeply a few feet out.

The pond is home to numerous frogs, a few painted turtles, and some small fish, probably sticklebacks. How they got in there is unknown; after a heavy rain there is the possibility that something could swim up from Sand Creek through a shallow ditch and two culverts, but that seems unlikely. I hope to stock some trout in there some day, but it probably won't be this year. Ideally the pond should be dug a little deeper and bigger for trout, but I think the fish would survive as is.

The pond provides year round recreation; the kids spend hours splashing in the shallows, swimming or catching tadpoles during the summer. In the winter the pond is a perfect size skating rink. As you can see in the picture, it adds much aesthetic appeal to our land. But most of all, I enjoy lounging on the beach after a dip in the cool water, watching the reflections of clouds and white pines while sipping a beer. I have it all right here at home; I don't need to pack the kids in the car and drive to some overcrowded beach. This is heaven!

7 comments:

madcapmum said...

Oh, I'm so envious! It looks delightful!

Do you find in your area that you get a lot of algae growth? That's the only reason I'd hesitate - the water bodies around here are all covered with brownish-green muck by mid-July. My husband says that wasn't the case back east in Northern Ontario, where he's from.

Dan Trabue said...

Do the kids like swimmin' with the fishes?

Sounds entirely pleasant to me.

Erich said...

That sounds perfect. My wife and I dream about moving out to the country on a piece of wooded land, preferably on some water. With the price of shoreline property (of almost any type) maybe we should consider the dig-your-own option.

Deb said...

Yes, it is delightful, pleasant, and perfect, but it also keeps me from getting much work done evenings when I come home! :)

We haven't had a problem with algae in the pond. The water is slightly brown, as is most of the surface water in this area, due to low alkalinity and plant tannins, which give the water a "tea" color. I don't think there are any sources of excess nutrients that run directly into the pond, which would cause algae. That is a problem with some of the bigger lakes around here, especially with all the septic systems from lake homes and cabins.

I'm sounding like a biologist again...

madcapmum said...

Well, it was a biology-type question, so that's fair enough. When we were looking for property to buy, a dug-out was on our wishlist, but what we ended up with didn't have one. If we ever move out there, we'll have one dug, even if it's only to lure in birds.

pablo said...

I had mystery fish show up in my newly dug lake. My best guess is that they came in as eggs on the feet of ducks, geese, and herons. That may have happened to you as well.

Floridacracker said...

There is nothing like a pond. They are a wildlife magnet, great to splash in, and just soothing to sit by. I have put in two and can see we still need a few more...
Nice post.