Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Annual Mucking Out of the Pond

Today was a spring cleaning sort of day. Not in the house, but in the yard. It was my annual Mucking Out of the Pond day. Mmmm. Ponder the effect of a significant quantity of maple leaves and other organic detritus steeping like a malodorous tea all fall, winter, and early spring. Now imagine bailing it (it's small, 4'x6'x1' or about 150 gallons) by hand with a 5-gallon bucket. I used the 'tea' to water all the other plants in the back yard. Stinky, but fecund. Once bailed and mucked, I could start filling it.

Ah, problem. The outside faucet was FUBAR, and pumping water at a trickle. It's an expensive back-pressure (now required by building code) faucet that lasted about 12 years (as opposed to the prior one that lasted about 60 years) and I did NOT want to pay $275 for a new one, plus the frustration of the labor. Fortunately the failed part was easily accessible and a trip to the hardware store and a $20 bill solved the problem. I ran the hose and started filling. Now to reinstall the pump for the waterfall.

Ah, problem. Over the years the impeller had stripped and needed replacing. The identifying sticker was long gone so I had quite the hunt to track down the correct part (Thanks to ESupply Depot for all the assistance!). It was easily replaced. Now I noted that the filter material was missing. Hmmm, I must have bailed it. I hunted under all the new growth looking for it. I found about a third of it. It was clearly shot. I noted that it looked a lot like a shredded Scotch Brite pad. I had a Scotch Brite pad. Duly shredded, it was pressed into duty. Once the water level was high enough, I plugged in the pump and held my breath...


Houston, we have waterfall! I topped the water level off and pulled up a chair to bask in the sun and enjoy the splishing of the water and the renewed excitement of the birds as they rediscovered the fresh water.


All said, it was a productive 3 hours or so. I really enjoy listening to the waterfall, especially at night as we are falling asleep with the windows open (maybe not this week as the overnight temps are still in the mid-thirties (F)). It is twilight, and I just let the cat into the back yard and delighted at the sight and sound of the functional pond. Maybe I will even throw some fish in there again this year. Generally the crows and raccoons eat them, but hey! Everyone has to eat.

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