Sunday, March 21, 2004

My pond 

It's been sleeping all winter, under ice, now melted, but still cold. The fish are fine. I spent three and a half hours of bliss today tuning it up.

I pulled some old ugly plants out of the little garden on the side of the pond. I arranged some beautiful stones, granite and smooth sandstone mostly, to take the place of the plants I pulled, so's to lower the maintenance there. I straightened out the limestone border, which had sagged in the last two years in the soft soil. Since it rained, and the ground was soggy, it was a pleasure to work.

Then I pounded out the ground beneath some of the larger stones on the perimeter of the pond. They, too, had sagged and looked as if they were about to fall into the water. I rearranged some stone, took one out, put a few more in, and it looks better than ever. Especially when I'm sitting on the bench...resting.

Then I took apart my leaky waterfall. This I'd been dreading for the last two years. The waterfall wasn't functioning all of last year; the water was cycling into the pond with the ugliest big white hose you ever saw. I was even too lazy to cover the hose with rock, or cut it shorter so it wouldn't show. That would have counted as "work on the waterfall", and I didn't want to have to "finish" it.

I just let it be. Until today.

I put in the pump and the filter; the water is flowing with that mesmerizing sound. The waterfall doesn't leak, but it has no rock in it, just the black liner marked sort of nicely with dead algae and lichen. It makes it look sort of real, like a waterfall should. I'll fill in the rest of the rock later--it's just running now so I could make sure it doesn't leak. It's not.

When it's done, my pond is a refuge from the world in my back yard. The carp, goldfish and the sarasa all compete for the food I toss them. Lily pads, water hyacinth and other fauna bloom and help keep the water clear. The palm grass behind the pond is a beautiful screen and a perfect backdrop for the entire tableau. A sitting angel cherub, three iron ants, each a foot long, and an upright-bass-playing frog round out the cute stuff.

But nothing compares with the pond at NIGHT. When the accent lights and the spots are on. And it's a cool late spring evening, with a bottle of port and a couple of good cigars, with the baseball game on the boombox.


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