Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Moving a 1000 gallon pond, fish, a turtle and plants …..

2006   When we made the decision to move to Wharton from Galveston, my first assumption was that the pond would stay in Galveston.  It was big, full of fish and a turtle, had a deck built around it and, most importantly, it was buried in the ground.  And I was not going to dig it out.

The people that bought the house in Galveston were not interested in having a pond.  So, Michael decided we would take the thing with us.  After removing everything in it, he started pumping out the water.  He ran a tube down the side of the pond and as the water was pumped out, it went under the pond form (aka: stock reservoir) and floated it out.  I have to tell you, I was impressed. 

Got to Wharton and set the pond up.  All is well with the world – right?  Of course not.  I made the big mistake of going to a pond store.  They had the most wonderful set-up one pond emptied into a small river, which emptied into a smaller pond.  Beautiful.  And just how hard could it be?  Michael was all in favor of having such a set up but he was thinking of having a moat that ran around 2 acres while I was thinking of a 5-ft stream.  We did compromise with a 25-foot river.

And for years it did not work as envisioned.  Part of the problem was that not one but TWO pumps died.  Damn things.  Then we had some river issues.  Then turtle/fish problems.  Then a couple of tall plants blew over in the water and the dirt all washed out.  Then the bullfrogs moved in.  Then too, there is a short time to work on such things because once the temps reach HOT, I refuse to work in the yard.  And so on and so forth.  I finally reached the do or die year.  I told Michael, it all got working bigod, or I was shoveling it all in and selling everything.

And so we started a process that took several weeks.  MHN pumped the water out and I got into the big pond with boots and started lifting out pot plants, rocks, and icky black stuff full of leaves and things I don’t even want to think about.  Discovered a new turtle had wintered over in the big pond.  (I think they leave hobo marks someplace around the yard that say “easy touch” or “kind woman”, eat their fill, rest up, sunbathe a bit, and hit the road.  This is fine as I don’t want any permanent residents other than a couple fish.).  Then also found a large number of bullfrogs (ick), all of which I threw out (the dogs were very entertained by these
guys) though I’m sure they all moved back in as soon as I left.  So, after cleaning out the big pond, I moved to the river and cleaned out leaves, leaves, and oh yes, leaves.  Honestly I think every tree in my yard walked over and dumped their leaves into the river.  Then, I moved to the little pond and did the same thing there.  Finally, we put 8 - 500lb bags of rock (well maybe not 500lb bags but certainly felt that way by the end of that day!) into the river. 

Filled everything up, put in the pot plants, turned on the pump and lo and behold! it worked.  The river nearly had rapids but it worked!  Then, a day later, everything – ponds, river was brown.  Not a pretty color. 

MHN completely emptied the ponds again.  I got into the big pond to discover another pot had knocked over and dirt had washed out.  Once again, I cleaned out much icky black stuff.  Then, he swept the rivers rocks and I cleaned out more icky black stuff from the little pond.  Filled the ponds, turned on everything and it worked!  Next day – still working!  Yea!

Note:  Do you see why I say "Ponds are not for Wimps!"

Take care

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