Saturday, May 14, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday it pelted down rain, hard and fast. By late afternoon it was just sprinkling. I went outside to look at the pond which had risen to almost its edges, but was alarmingly full of mud - run off from spots that I hadn't quite fixed and built a lip higher than the surrounding lawn and gardens I've started to construct.

What a mess...

The bonus was turning around in despair and wondering how the fish were going to manage in this dirty flood, to discover that my weeping birch - one of the bird trees where I've hung a few feeders - was leafing out. Two days ago there were only tiny hints of leaves - suddenly the rain has started the amazing transformation of this tree, from bare hanging branches, gently blowing in every breeze to a delicate tracery of green, my favourite spring green.

It was also filled with goldfinches, the two rose breasted gros beaks, grackles, blue jays, white crowned sparrows, and one or two white breasted nuthatches that haven't quite made up their minds to leave yet.

So this morning here is the pond. Yesterday evening, I pulled away some of the stones and threw them aside for now, pulled up the liner and put some bricks and stones underneath to raise the lip, drained a good foot of water away from the pond and put back about an inch of fresh. Then I stopped.

I am on a well and since there are now four water bottling plants in my area, the water table has changed considerably. I can't run the hose for too long to fill the pond or I'll drain the well. I'll have to do it in increments.

Meantime I'm going to get some plants and place them around the edge, well below the lip - in nooks and crannies, so they'll spill over the edge and cover up the liner. The fish seem to be managing. You can barely see a hint of orange in the brown water under the log, so the filter is working overtime. I will backwash it a bit later this morning and add some more fresh water then let it sit for a day or two, then clean the filter and pump once again and add more fresh water, getting the levels back up.

My small adventure with heavy rain and it messing up my wee pond, made me think often of the people along the Assinaboine river, the Mississippi and other rivers that are flooding their banks. How on earth do they cope with the power of water taking over their homes?

It makes me realize that we are guests here on this planet, we no more control it now that when we first tired shortly after we began walking upright. Our attempts can lead to disaster, climate change being the biggest.

So giving up any attempts at control for today, I'm simply going to enjoy the emerald green carpet that has suddenly appeared, and the increased delicate greens in the bush. I am blessed that my own little experience with water's power was so easily remedied, unlike others around the world.

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