... so I built one. This small area in front of the house was formerly occupied by annual garden beds. My mother-in-law planted, literally, hundreds of flowers here every summer and tended to them with great care. Annual flowers and I do not agree so well and while I tried to continue this tradition for a few years, it never looked nearly as nice. So with one of the garden beds being a preformed pond liner sunken in to the ground and the hole already created once potting soil was removed, I tore in to the project earlier this spring. Except it kept raining and I kept wondering if a water feature was really something I wanted.
But I did want it! Danish Cowboy got in to the spirit of things by gathering rocks both large and small, crumbly and sturdy, mossy and not and the adventure began. With a waterfall and filter in place, things looked great. Except it needed some life to it, so I bought some plants from eBay and some slimy almost dead water lilies at deeply discounted prices from Lowe's.
And then it started growing algae so I decided I needed some aquatic life. The kids and I ventured out to a little stock dam to gather tadpoles...which turned out to be surprisingly more difficult than I ever imagined. And when one of the kids had enough of wading through muck comprised mostly of cow shit, he threw his boot way out in the water. So I had to wade through the poop to recover the boot and still we only came home with six wily tadpoles.
We had a tadpole relocation party later that day so that Cluck-Cluck 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 could check out their new homes.
All that hard work really paid off because we never saw the little bastards again.
I did sneak out with a flashlight a few times and glimpsed them swimming quickly in to a hiding spot, but I fear that the introduction of Danish Cowboy's minnows may have finished them off.
The original plan was to add a few goldfish to the pond, but living in eastern Montana, there aren't too many goldfish or koi breeders within driving distance. And have you checked out the price of a pond goldfish lately? $30 so that I can wake up one morning and find it floating in my pond? No thanks. Free minnows from our plentifully running prairie streams will do just fine. Although I'm still a little torqued that they ate our tadpoles, what fun it was to throw squirmy little fishies in to the water. We already have plans to expand it a bit next year and add more depth to some parts of it.
In other news, mud continues to be an issue. My little boy is growing up to believe that spring planting season is all about avoiding getting stuck, when in reality it is typically about praying that spring precipitation will arrive. Old men and young boys alike are in awe of this year's rains. With water randomly running out of hillsides, creeks that have been running for weeks on end (rather than the usual 3-4 days), and tractors bogged down across the countryside, no one really knows which way to turn.
One thing is for certain, though: tractors, both big and small, are in need of a good bath.