What a year! So little rain – so many little pond “people.” I have spent the entire late Spring and all Summer in a state of Pond Hysteria. This is a rare condition. I seem to be the only not–so–innocent victim of this weirdness! We have a 40’ x 70’ natural pond on our property. It is a grave, grave responsibility! In fact, those should be capital “G’s!”
When I say, “we” have a pond, I should really just fess up and say, “I” have this pond that I am frankly bananas about! All my life I have loved little creatures. Countless are the wooly bear caterpillars I have saved from being squished on Bluff road! Then there are the salamanders that decide to leave the pond of ponds and seek their way across the dog yard to some imagined paradise. Well – NO WAY! They are tenderly carried right back to the pond. Maybe I scold them gently, but that’s not provable!
Then there’s the fish. Years ago, I purchased a garbage can full of carnival goldfish – hence there are generations of fish residing in the pond. The “piece de resistance,” however, are my frogs. My “starter kit” – a substantial frog that a beloved friend gave to me years ago – is apparently prolific in cloning itself. Every Spring, I fall asleep to delicious baritone frog serenades. I am nuts about the pond! Now, there are three major threats to this aquatic piece of paradise: diving ducks, the Great Blue Heron (known as “birdzilla”) and no rain! The ducks and birdzilla are easy to deal with: I run out on the deck screaming at the top of my lungs. Rain or more recently the lack of – on the other hand, has made me a freaked-out mess!
Until the last three days of torrential downpours, I have been inconsolable. Yes, I considered running a hose down to the pond, even though I knew I would probably be cast out on my little behind! Or have to pay the water bill with my QVC money! However, came the rain! Tons of it! Secure in my hooded raincoat I did my own unique happy dance all around the pond. I counted at least twenty fish. I realize we have a ways to go, as the banks surrounding the pond are far too visible for my comfort zone. When four mallards flew in and settled on the surface, I went bananas and they quickly moved on! So, with the coming of the mini-monsoon, I could finally relax.
As Winter approaches, we are bound to have more rain. I mean it IS Oregon. Any day now, all I will have to do is occasionally return an errant salamander or two – reminding them that “east or west, pond is best!” No – I am not nuts – yes, they are kind of cute – especially their little orange tummies. Come Spring, I will see jellied masses of eggs floating near the surface of the pond. Ah – new life – and long about late March the water will turn a lovely blue-green. Under water grasses will sway gently in a rare transparency. Then a school of tiny black fish babies will appear. Before I know it, I will be sitting on the deck in the four o’clock sun, being serenaded by a handsome prince. Of course, he will look like a large frog!
It’s the best medicine!