This is what our pond looked like several years ago. Idyllic. Lush. Lovely.
Then the neighbor cut his nice shady tree back, bleaching the entire corner with sun. The pond filter system kept breaking down, despite the enormous piles of money we put into it (that now I wish would have gone towards my daughter’s education). The fish endured disease and mass deaths (it was, as Isobel says, EW EW YUCKY). After the shade from the tree was gone, we couldn’t keep the plants happy, and they either scorched to death or threw themselves into our broke down filtration system. Over and over again, we tried to make it work, but it became very clear that Nature hated this pond.
Last year, when Isobel began to enjoy the backyard, we realized we should just get rid of it. Now, I am not the sort of parent that insists on hovering over their child’s every move when playing outside, but I think you’ll agree that when you have both an unsteady toddler and a potential drowning hazard, you’ll want to keep a close watch on them.
As much as I would miss the pond, I became excited for what we could plant back there. Fruit trees! A garden patch! A fort for Isobel! One year later, our dismantling project has come to a halt, and we now have a pit that’s every bit as dangerous (and way more ugly) than the pond ever was.
Behold! Lake Deathtrap!
For awhile we had a totally acceptable shallow pit of dirt and rocks. I mean, that’s not at all acceptable, but it was, I don’t know, justifiable? It was a work in progress. But this year’s rain has turned it into a nasty, stagnant, fetid marsh, and we are in the same goddamn situation as we were before, except now our deathtrap isn’t just filled with water, it’s studded with shrapnel and broken, pointy pieces of flagstone.
And, wait, a minute, are those POND PLANTS? Because we spent rather a lot of money keeping our pond stocked with fresh plants so our fish wouldn’t get baked by the sun after that tree was cut back. The fish kept eating them and getting otherwise destroyed, but we kept trying, god bless us, even though Nature clearly did not approve of this pond nor the life within it. I thought all the plants were done for, despite our constant effort in keeping them alive. And now here they are, growing as happy as can be, in our completely unintentional and unwanted pond.
Now that we have a pond that Nature actually does approve of, I am hard at work covering it with grass and leaves and clippings every couple of days so we don’t become the epicenter of the next outbreak of malaria. So, who wants to come over and wield a pickaxe and help me get rid of this thing?