Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can It Really Be...Spring?

You remember what Robert Frost says about April:

"You know how it is with an April day....
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."

And here we are just at the beginning of March. But who can resist thinking it's spring? The sun is warm. The snow, softer underfoot each morning. And the chickadees are sounding like they really mean it.

The dogs are going crazy with the new scents, and I am going crazy with new projects. Work on the wattle fence continues. So far four person hours (me: three; spouse: one) have not quite finished one of seven fence panels. But I am not discouraged. Already the dwindling snow makes reaching the stick piles in the woods easier. By summer's end, we'll have a real wattle fence obscuring our prosaic wire fence.

This morning, we had a "pond man" look over our land for places to build a natural pond. It was a little like having your child tested for an exclusive kindergarten. I showed him the four places on our property that stay wet most of the year, places where there might be a spring that would magically flow into and keep alive a pond and its denizens. He took one look and shook his head. The water on our land, he said, was "nuisance water," nothing abundant or fast-flowing enough to nourish a real pond.

We trudged back to the house, crestfallen. A place needs water, I've always felt, to be alive. I said this to the pond man-- who builds ten-acre ponds for New York millionaires who want to relax in Vermont--and he conceded that we might be able to have a "garden pond." By garden pond he means something artificial, something filled with a garden hose. Something with a pump and a liner and god-knows-what-else.

He gave us the name of a garden-pond landscaper, who would advise us on the placement and maintenance of the pond, and which he--the pond man--would scoop out with his big machines in a morning's time, and which I would maintain, clean and aerate for the rest of my life.

But I would have water, frogs, salamanders, and even fish, and who can put a price on that?

4 comments :

  1. There was a time when I thought I was going to get a garden pond, but my husband thought I'd tire of it and it would end up an algae filled mud puddle. Perhap's he was right, but I really did want one.

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  2. i get nuisance water in my laundry room sometimes....

    it's feeling a bit springy here, too! last night was the first night in forever when the temperature didn't dip below freezing.

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  3. Oh, go for it!...so it won't be a "natural" spring fed pond, it will probably be more beautiful - will you have koi? Check out hencam.com's little pond, it's delightful. I usually put a water feature in my firepit during the summer, and even thought it's just a pot with a little pump, I love it and so do the animals. Also, having a landscape pond means you can put it exactly where you like, where it is most picturesque.

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  4. Dona, I had a small garden pond in our house in Annapolis. I never did anything to it--sure, it got algae, but it also had some healthy goldfish and frogs. I thought it was wonderful!

    Laurie, what! a frost-free night???? And I was starting to feel sorry for you.

    Jaimieb, thanks for the encouragement. Apparently people have koi here in Vermont, and the critters survive the winters. I suspect the pond needs to be a certain depth. I'll check out hencam.

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