Tension builds…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis weekend we are grabbing the last warm days of the season to clean our pond. We will do a complete water exchange. Emptying it out allows us to make corrections to the sloping floor so the plants (and I) don’t slide. That means pulling up part of the liner.

We will remove the stones surrounding the pond; take out the pond plants; and temporarily rehome the fish, frogs and other wildlife in there.

There are snails and tadpoles for sure. The snails we will see but the tadpoles are very dark and hide. I’m hoping I don’t lose too many. It’s taken all this time to develop a small population of frogs. I don’t want to lose them.

The fish should be fine. Where can they go? It’s not like they can get out of the holding tank and take off down the street.

The pond store suggested thinning the herd but we all know that’s not going to happen. They have names. Who would I pick? Sushi anyone?

My small pond isn’t a lot of work – backwash the filter and occasionally check the water quality. It’s not necessary to feed the fish. They survive on the algae, plant roots and other things in there.

It’s not like a pool where you want to be sure the water is pristine.

horses at waterFish pee and poop there. You won’t catch me wading around barefoot or drinking the water although a lot of the neighborhood critters do.

This is an end of the season job. (Really sad sigh!)

Today the beloved husband picked up the last of the corn on the cob from our local farm stand. (This is very emotional for him.) They are closing for the season.

With the corn ending; the pond getting winterized; and the need for blankets at night; we are definitely moving into the cold weather season. Next week I will pull out the tomato plants and annual flowers and replace them with pumpkins.

My tomatoes in their glory days.

My tomatoes in their glory days.

I barely remember summer. I think she stopped in for tea and left shortly thereafter. I wonder if it was something I said.

How was your summer? Short? Hot? Fleeting?

 

 

30 thoughts on “Tension builds…

  1. Kate … I envy your fresh produce, but not all the work that I know goes into producing it. We raised some of those crops when I was a teen.

    Summer did seem all too fleeting – maybe not the hot weather, but certainly the time off from school. 😉

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  2. I barely remember summer. I think she stopped in for tea and left shortly thereafter. I wonder if it was something I said. Love this…you’re so right. Like it never happened and my sad mood reflects it. Your pond…you’re the only person I know, cyberly or otherwise, who has one. It’s very special.

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  3. Our summer has been one of the best ever–warm and dry. And then, on the first day of fall, it turned on a dime, and we had rain. I love reading about all your end of season jobs. Your pond and your tomatoes are a pleasure to view.

    When we lived in Vanuatu, I took a garden tour, and the owner of a beautiful garden and fish pond told us that he had originally wanted his pond to be cleaner. But the man who set it up told him that if he wanted it as clean as a swimming pool, nothing would be able to live in it.

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    • Our summer came late and was fairly cool, not a good swimming pool summer if that’s your thing. That owner was right. I am not fanatic about my pond at all. This is the first complete water change in 5 years and really, I’m only doing it because I want to level out the floor. Nature has a way of balancing even with fish population. After a year I had 35 fish babies. That didn’t happen again because my pond is too small for that population. Somehow the fish don’t reproduce in large quantities any more. This year I had 3 new babies to replace the 3 I lost.

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    • I love geese but not at my pond. My pond is too small and they are too messy. We have a large city pond where people used to feed them. There is now a $500 fine for feeding the geese. What party poopers!

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  4. Summer stopped in for a long weekend and left soon after 🙂 But we are getting a bit of “Indian Summer” now — lows in the 40s, highs in the 70s, and glorious fabulous sunshine every day (this is a big deal near the Great Lakes where we get so much cloud cover, esp in winter).

    I have several frogs hanging near the pool (closed it last week) – they’re still enjoying what little bugs are left around!
    MJ

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  5. “Thinning the heard”…oh no! How could he suggest such a thing? Your pond really is beautiful, Kate.
    Although we had several days where the heat and humidity was oppressive, we surprisingly had some lower than average temperatures scattered in, so our summer in Charlotte, NC wasn’t that bad.

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  6. It’s hard to believe it’s almost October. It’s been a bit cooler here this week, but it’s 89 in the sun right now. No blankets at night.

    That sounds like a BIG job. Hope it goes well for you and the inhabitants.

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  7. Summer is still here, the kids are in school, and the tourists are gone. This is the perfect time in SoCal as far as I’m concerned! Fewer crowds and still warm and sunny. And, fortunately, the high, high temps of the past few weeks are gone. What happens to the fish and your pond in the winter? It must get pretty cold.

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    • I don’t have fancy fish. They are different forms of goldfish and they can winter over in the bottom of the pond. Their metabolism slows down into a semi-hibernation. The pond doesn’t freeze solid and I keep a bubbler going all winter to keep an area open for gases to exchange. I lost 3 fish last winter but I don’t think from the cold. I believe two were taken by predators because there wasn’t any sign of them at all and the other I found floating in early spring long after everything had thawed. Sometimes especially with a small pond, the high heat is harder on the fish. This sounds like a wonderful time in SoCal. Enjoy!

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  8. Every season? Didn’t realize that (Now I shall worry about the inhabitants – they all have names…and they know you!)
    Summer is such a fickle lass. This is the first summer since 1997 that there wasn’t 1 day over 100 at the “official” measuring station (way way north of town near the big airport). They say we’ve had 2 back to back short summers which is unusual. (It’s official – I’m a wimp about heat.)
    We are a few degrees below normal which means in mid/upper 80’s but nights are cooler…like I could tell. Too many mosquitoes to get out then….and more rain today. At least we had a couple of sunny days
    Take care of all those watery orphan refugees!

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    • Much of the US has had an “unusual” summer. We haven’t been over 100 degrees in a few years. We used to get 2 to 3 really hot weeks where it was consistently in the 90s and didn’t cool down much at night. Not lately though. This is the first time we are cleaning our 5 year old pond so I’m not complaining but I am worried that we will do it quick enough for the inhabitants!

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  9. Reading all the blogs I follow on the east coast is interesting. I am hearing all about fall weather, sweaters, blankets, end of the summer, etc…Today, where I live, it is 91 F right now. Sweater season is still on the far horizon. sigh…..

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  10. We are currently experiencing spectacular fall weather. Dry, clear, warm… I’d wager some of the best all year. Spring was late getting out of bed and summer was rather limp and lifeless this year. Autumn, though, is doing just fine.

    Our cherry tomatoes had a great year. Four plants covered about 20 x 6 feet of wall space. We harvested at least a quart or two a day. All of a sudden? Times up! Almost overnight each plant has browned and wilted – a bacteria or virus, I suppose.

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