A few years ago, there was an exercise to write a story in six words. The title is the cliff notes version to my post today.
We cleaned the pond this past weekend. It’s not a large one, measuring 5 foot by 11 foot. Deepest part is 28 inches. That’s just deep enough that I need chest waders rather than hip boots.
The pond lining is a very durable rubber material that is slippery when wet. I’ve had the pond for ten years so I’m a pro at this. Very organized. I do prep work so it goes smoothly (theoretically) and get all my supplies in advance. No trips to Home Depot.
We have to remove the water plants, fish, snails, tadpoles and frogs to do a complete water change and remove all the sludge. The muck stinks like the marshy areas near the sea. Working in it means I won’t want to eat seafood for at least a month!
As the water was running out, I started to pull out the submerged plants. That’s when the fun started.
First pot had a funny looking thing in it. Looked like a piece of rope but I wasn’t fooled. My friend Sharlene always talks about snakes in her pond. I’m always happy to say that I’ve never had any. That was then.
You need to know that I have a few idiosyncrasies. OK, more than a few. A fear of snakes is one of them. I can touch worms but snakes freak me out. Way out. I gently poked at the “rope” and it wiggled. I breathed deeply and grabbed the pot and took it out to the driveway which is quite a distance from the pond. I’m screaming all the way.
The beloved husband comes around to check. I tell him about the snake and he spots another one on the rocks surrounding the pond. It wiggles under the rocks. We keep removing rocks until we have completely dismantled the waterfall. It slithers into the water.
At this point I have to go into the water with a net to get it. I listen for rattling or to check if it’s a big headed cobra. (I have a heightened sense of fantasy.) It is pencil thin but long. Seemed like 80 feet but probably more like 2. I snag it. We put it in a lidded container (can you image a snake loose in your car?) and go look for its friend. That damn thing slithered out of the plant pot and took off (hopefully to the next door neighbor’s house).
We re-homed the one that was contained in a nearby creek but I’m totally freaked knowing that there is one in my yard somewhere. My friend said that there are more hanging around and I just haven’t seen them yet. (This is where I dusted off the “for sale” sign!)
The rest of the pond cleaning went OK. I fell on my butt twice but didn’t hurt anything (not even my pride, I’m so over that!). I checked all the plants for slithering friends; refilled the pond; and put all the residents back in.
I used to enjoy doing this. Not so much anymore. It takes about 3 to 4 hours which isn’t a lot of time but it is tiring work with all the bending and climbing in and out (and the falling too).
As I said at the beginning “Next house no pond too old.” Maybe I’ll get an aquarium.