Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Project

Jim has, somewhat inadvertently, started a major summer project.

The small pond at the front of the property was looking pretty green, and he wanted to pump some fresh water into it before starting up the little waterfall he made a few years ago.  He pumped out all the mucky green water into the shelter belt where it will nourish the trees and shrubs.

With the water gone, the fuzzy mat at the bottom was revealed: totally covered with green muck.

When we constructed this little shallow pond we first lined it with some black plastic.  In no time deer walking through the water had punctured the plastic and drained the pond.  Jim found a very heavy black plastic, sourced from an oil field supply company, designed to line the holding area around oil tanks.  He lined the pond with that heavy plastic and no water could seep out.

That company also provided some fuzzy mats to place over the plastic, additional insurance against puncture by deer hooves.  Those mats have sometimes presented problems by not staying at the bottom, but floating upward here and there, looking like little islands.  In fact at one barbecue we hosted two teen-aged brothers dared each other to hop to an island.  The older boy hopped and found out it was NOT an island!  He got a good soaking for his shoes and the bottom of his trousers.  Fortunately, the pond is very shallow, probably about a foot and a half when full of water.

When Jim saw the condition of the mats he decided to remove them completely.  This simple task is turning into a major project, because he weighted the mats down with stones--some here and there in the middle, but a solid covering of boulders around the verge of the pond.

Today he started removing the boulders by hand, one at a time and heaving them onto the rocks surrounding the pond.  These are all large stones that he placed individually, by hand several years ago.  He thought he had completed all that work, and here some of it is back for another go 'round.

It doesn't seem to be a project that I can be of much help, just to encourage him as he works on it and urge him not to try to finish it in one day, maybe in one week!

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