Yesterday I did the most dreaded chore of all. I winterized the pond. I cut back all the plants; cleaned as much gunk from the bottom as I could and put some screening on it so the heron won’t come for sushi.
We removed the filter and put the waterfall on bypass. We will completely turn it off when it turns really cold in late December. At that point we turn on an underwater bubbler which moves water to keep an open area for gases to escape. Everything is ready to go so it’s just a few plugs to pull or put in. It’s always a relief to get that work done especially this year. I have learned the hard way to do it earlier than needed so you can pick a good weather day. There is no way I want to be in the pond when the air temperatures are hovering in the 40s. I’m like popsicle hopping around in there!
It’s not the work or even the bare look of it. (It’s so bare it’s sad!) It’s the knowledge that it will be six months until I clean her up for spring. The spring cleaning is a lot more work but it is happier work.
The day was predicted to be warm (70s) and clear. It didn’t get as warm as expected but it’s better to work when it’s cooler even if I am in chest waders in a pool of cold water. It was overcast which added a layer of sadness to an already sad chore.
There are two water lilies still blooming and I let them be but all the rest of the lily pads and grasses were cut back to the roots. The lilies were cheering me on. An oasis in a pool of nothingness.
My mood didn’t affect the fish who were pleased that the food I tossed in was easier to find. On the other hand they are the food easier for predators to find. I have hidey holes for them under the water. There is a fish tunnel and an upside down milk crate which has a plant on top. All of this is in the deepest part which helps too.
Our fall is late this year. It will be a few weeks before we see the gorgeous color on the trees. When the temperatures drop more we will stoke up the fireplace. We are anxious to see if our new cat Gus takes to it like the other cats do. They like to lay down directly in front sometimes on their back with legs flailing in the air. Sometimes they curl up like loaves of bread.
Cats cuddling by the fire, pumpkin bread on the counter, colorful leaves on trees and a pond napping until spring. Those are the good parts of fall.