This and That

The 5000 gallon pond just off the deck

Today, it is raining. Not a very hard rain but at least rain. You can almost see the plants and flowers and the other vegetation just standing there with their proverbial mouths open just sucking in the moisture. Rain, any rain is always welcome here in my part of Texas as in the summer, we usually get very little of it and then only if we are lucky.

Yesterday, one of the pumps stopped working in the 6000 gallon pond. I was working on stuff indoors and had no idea there was a problem. When we, me and the dogs that is, did go out for a walk about and found it had stopped, we immediately swung into action making repairs and restarting the pumps. One of them had shorted out causing the breakers to switch off and shutting down all of the other pumps. It must have been out for a couple of hours as the big Koi in this pond, were gasping for air and were obviously in distress as the water heated up. At this time of the year, it is very important to have as much moving water as is possible and on that particular pond, there are four pumps all working at their respective duties to keep up the circulation. Three of them are part of the filtering system and the other supplies water to the waterfall. Even with my efforts, five of the very large Koi died and I had to fish them out and toss them over the fence to feed the other critters and the buzzards. I hate losing fish, any fish but especially the very large Koi, one of which was thirty inches or so long and must have weighed in at least twenty pounds. This fish was probably between fifteen and twenty years old, maybe even older as were the other four. This pond has been a bit of a problem of late. Altogether, I have lost twelve of the very big Koi that lived there just in the past few months and I have to do some serious thinking as to what action to take regarding this and the other two ponds. The plan is to gradually close down at least two of the ponds so as to make the house more saleable when the time comes. Three large ponds is probably asking too much for any future buyers unless they are a pond freak as I was. Now, as I age, hopefully gracefully, the ponds are getting to be a lot of work as there is always something that needs to be done which may be a repair of some sort, a water change or something similar and even the daily feeding. Having to rely on the goodness of my neighbors when I want to take off for a few days also adds to the worry. Just the day before yesterday, the pump that drives the water to the two urns in the 5000 gallon pond quit and I had to spend time out in the hundred degree weather installing another pump with all the work that goes with it plus a trip to the hardware store for parts.

The 6000 gallon pond

When I first started with the ponds over thirty years ago, much of the pleasure was in the actual construction and the design and building of the ponds. What is now the 6000 gallon pond started off as two small streams flowing into a 1000 gallon small pond. All that remains of that configuration is one of the streams and even it is not working as it has a leak that I need to find. Maybe, I will just close that stream down. The rest was absorbed into the very large 6000 gallon pond which, by the way, entailed having to rent a jack hammer to loosen the limestone that is the Texas Hill Country and operated, by yours truly. Back then, twenty or so years ago, I was much stronger and much more willing to work hard than I am today. I honestly believe that the rocks surrounding the ponds which I installed back then have somehow become a whole lot bigger and a whole lot heavier than they were when I first installed them. On the back side of this pond is the area where many of my pets from over the years are buried. There is quite the little graveyard there filled with memories.

The goldfish pond as it currently stands, used to be the lower part of a double pond the upper portion of which flowed into the lower pond and then the water flowed from the bottom pond back to the top pond. I recently shut down the upper pond which I had separated into a single unit. It still requires backfilling and landscaping which as yet, I haven’t got around to. I had it pumped out but the rains that we have had over the summer have filled it back up again. I noticed that there are probably twenty to thirty baby goldfish who have made this pond home. I guess they must have spawned before I shut the pond down. The second of the two ponds I rebuilt making it deeper from around two feet to four feet. I had to go upwards with the rock walls and added a new liner and it is the current goldfish pond. It contains probably between eighty to a hundred goldfish of all shapes, sizes and colors.

The 5000 gallon pond which was the very first pond built and is situated just off the deck has also been rebuilt just two years after I built the original more than thirty years ago. This original one sprung a leak that I was unable to find so I got over it by rebuilding it making it twice as big with a new liner. I plan on leaving this one as it is situated off the deck and a pleasure just to sit there and listen to the water. It currently has about fifteen large Koi and at least forty baby Koi from this years spawning. In all of the years of ponding, I have never seen so many baby koi in one hatch.

There is also another stream that just today, the pump quit and I had to replace it with another pump to get this unit working again. This one is close to the house and has a little old man fountain which has been a source of constant enjoyment over the years as the birds use it to take showers.This stream will also remain.

Like I said, for me, the pleasure was in all of the construction and all that went along with it. Now, I have to decide what action to take in closing down at least two of them. This time, I will probably get my tree person to bring in his guys and fill in the ponds and tidy up the yard as I get the property ready for sale sometime in the future.

Me, I plan to hit the open road with the new RV that I have on order and leave all of this behind. In truth, I will also be leaving a big part of me along with it especially for the animal graveyard as the ponds and fish and the other wildlife and all of the memories have given me nothing but pleasure over the years. But, like everything else that has happened so far, it is another portion of my life coming to a close as we head towards the final chapter.

This is how the upper and lower ponds used to be. The 5000 gallon pond is on the right. The upper pond is already closed down but still needs backfilling and tidying up.

Written 9/2/2020