Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The Day the Pond Went Dry
The pond is officially dry.
While the middle is obviously muddy, no pool of water remains. Not a single puddle.
Instead of an ugly hole, it is like an impressionist painting. The horseweed and other things that have been growing below the usual water level are afire with autumn's passion. This is surrounded by green trees, green grass and weeds and wild flowers.
We have watched the water pool diminish all spring and summer.
The pond leaks. We've known this ever since the first time we went to our place after signing the deed.
And again, November 2009, in a soupy fog -- a scene worthy of any Arthurian-legend movie.
The exposed mud, in my mind, gives the impression of a seashore, where tides and waves keep the edges scoured of vegetation.
In reality, the water level had just dropped over the previous months.
In some ways, the annual draining made the pond more usable. We cannot depend on it for irrigation in dry years, obviously. However, as the pond drained in late summer and fall, the exposed area gave us better access. When granddaughter Ivy (then age 2) came to visit last fall, we walked to the water's edge and laughed as the frogs each gave a screeched and hopped from the shore into the water with a plop. We tossed in sticks and stones.
Every visit to our house elicited cries of "Let's see the frogs!" until it was too cold for the frogs to be out.
The frogs have now abandoned the place. And the crawdads? Many became breakfast, lunch and dinner for blue herons that visited more and more frequently as the water receded. I am sure that raccoons and other critters also held great feasts.
Where does the water go as it leaks out the bottom of the pond?
Good question. One we probably will never answer.
Will we try to fix the pond again, now that it is dry?
That is not in our immediate plans. We were warned the first time that fixes rarely work. But maybe someday, when the stars are alligned just right... then again, maybe not.
Sometimes you just have to accept things the way they are.