Monday 3 June 2013

The Pond is Finished!

The biggest news by far from this camp over this bright, warm, windless Bank Holiday, is that we have finished the pond! We got stuck in well today trimming and burying the edges of the rubber sheet, determined to create a variety of types of bank. A long stretch of the 'south' side is down to grass, so we simply lifted a wedge of turf with the fattest edge 'inland' and laid the rubber over a soil 'lip' at roughly water level.

We hope (and we have found on previous ponds) that the thick inner edge gives enough hydraulic connection to the surrounding soil to stop the turf drying out - we want grass growing right to the edge and dangling over into the water to give cover for and access to newts, frogs and invertebrates. At the 'west' end we have a shelf for our marginal plants (purple loosestrife, king-cup etc) and the grass margin is behind this.

Coming round by the 'Darby and Joan' chairs, we change to a line of boulders, many taken from the old 'Albert' cairn you may recall - the pile of boulders dug out of our floor during the house build, and stacked at the end of the front terrace. These stones run round the the 'north' side where we have made a flat-stone gently sloping beach to give easy access to young goslings. In the middle of this, Liz also created a small 'rock pool' which had turned out to be ideal for a special and surprising reason; more of which later.

At the end of this beach we made a headland onto which we carefully put the biggest rock that came out of the pond - the one which broke my first shovel. This is surrounded by smaller stones and is either called 'Howth Head' after the one in Dublin. or the "Hen and Chickens". Beyond that and coming back to the east end are a row of stones which are deliberately slightly lower, with their bases in water and the pond liner rising up behind them to get the right level. Again, this is all about hidey-holes for creepie-crawlies and amphibians.

The whole thing is about 10 m long and 6 m wide and is 22 inches deep at the deepest point. We love it and the geese have adopted it as a favourite place and I have been able to get some nice pictures. We were amazed to find that with this much space to play in the geese's splashing about includes some swimming under water like a penguin! Who knew that they could? They duck their heads and shoulders under then zoom along completely submerged for about 3-4 feet before bobbing to the surface! Liz has this on video. I have not yet been able to capture it on 'still' but I will.

It was during one of these sessions that the goslings discovered that they could keep to the 'rock pool' where it was a lot less wavy. The grown-ups were creating quite a 'chop' in the water and had us re-thinking where it might be wise to try to site water lilies and so on.

So, tonight we are feeling very pleased with ourselves and decided to have a celebratory meal. We had a deep, oven backed 'tortilla' made with goose and hen eggs plus potato and diced chicken. Chilled Prosecco served as our celebration.

Nice pond!

1 comment:

Mr Silverwood said...

Looking good