Saturday, July 21, 2012

Now THAT'S a Shovel

I think that before any of you got to read my last post, it was already obsolete.  The excavator showed up early yesterday morning with two very large pieces of machinery and before I had to leave for work that evening, the pond was finished.  I spent the day alternating between watching them work and working on my woodshed.  The difference between these two jobs could not have been more painfully obvious.  The speed and ferocity with which these machines can destroy and rebuild a big chunck of earth is amazing. On the other hand, I have been working on this building for almost a year now.  It's skeletal outlines show up in the background of many of my photos.

The building project has suffered greatly from lack of time, lack of money, lack of tolerable weather and lack of energy and attention on my part.  In spite of the many lacks, I have been slowly and painfully getting the roof on my building over the last week.  It is a huge step toward completion.  It's a job that would have taken a two person roofing crew about an hour.  I am thrilled though, that with my schedule and the brutal heat we have been dealing with, that I got the job done in a week.  With the kind of helpers I have to contend with, I am a bit amazed that I have gotten anything done at all...

Watching these huge machines gave me distinctly mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I had serious machine envy...what I could get done if I had one of these suckers around all the time....
On the other hand, just watching them made me feel terribly guilty about all of the little salamanders and frogs who must have perished.  Between us, we did save several turtles so it's not all bad.  The pond will be healthier and better habitat in the end, but still...

Also, I can't even begin to imagine what these monsters cost, not just to own, but to operate as well.  My little building may have taken a ridiculous amount of time to build, but it and everything else I have built, is paid for.  This pond repair is the only part of my house building project that I have borrowed money to pay for.  It took years of saving, a well timed real estate sale and more crazy financial juggling then I can describe, but the place is paid for.  I had to borrow several thousand dollars to pay for this pond, which makes my teeth hurt, but it's something I've wanted since I was a child.  I think it will be worth it. 

Once the machines got past all the muck, they hit nothing but this hard blue clay mixed with stone.  It is why the soil up here is so poor, but it is ideal for ponds...

Within just a few hours, water was accumulating in the bottom.  We found a least four separate springs feeding the site...

Once it fills back up, it will be 8-10 feet deep, tapering to a shallow end under the trees.  The trees will provide shade and cover for fish.  I may roll some big rocks in to provide more fish habitat and I'll probably build a little dock which would also please future inhabitants.  I need to do more research though, I want to get it right.

Thanks to All County Construction for helping make this dream come true.


  1. it is hard work . i like a hardwork. well done.


  2. What a perfect paradise it will be! Created, almost entirely, with your own hands (and brains) - awesome!! evemarie

  3. Your helper's are too cute! How wonderful you are fulfilling your dream!!

  4. What a good pond you'll have, you lucky dogs! I hope you get many years of enjoyment out of it!

  5. Very cool! Can't wait to see how the pond progresses. I'm curious to see how long it takes to fill all the way up.

  6. It will be just perfect for you! And the habitat will love you for it. Many photo opportunity's in the making.
    I too wonder how long it will take to fill up. Since it is fed by a spring, is there a creek that relieves the excess water?