Monday, July 29, 2013

Trimming the Pond

 Today while we walked the asphalt path at the Farmersville-Jackson Twp. Joint Park, two members of the Jackson Twp. Road Department were following up yesterday's mow with appropriate trimming. One worked around trees; another trimmed around the edge of the pond.

 I've always found when we have standing water in our yard, a mower can't be used to get very close to the wet area. As soon as the edge of the blade contacts the water, it sends an hellacious spray of water into the air and shakes the mower as though it is coming apart. It's neither healthy for mower nor man.

 So today I was interested in how the pond's edge was being trimmed: with a gasoline-powered string trimmer. I suppose holding it out over the water took some upper body strength but the weeds fell quickly in a gentle spray of water.

 Cattails dropped as the trimmer passed through them. Sedge grasses disappeared. Other aquatic plants quickly met their match when struck with monofilament line. It was fun to watch the pond's edge being swept clean (though I imagine a few frogs were less impressed).

 While we walked, we listened to the buzz of the trimmer and saw the summer growth being tamed.

 A pond, though, is a costly and labor-intensive hole in the ground. My brother has a large pond on their ten acres parcel and he's forever worried about the level of the water, whether the fish are getting enough oxygen, whether a "leak" is dropping the water level too quickly, when there will be enough rain to fill it back up. And then there's the algae that blooms in hot weather, turning the surface green, covering the pond with a choking blanket.

 In past years I've seen the Farmersville pond turn turquoise with the application of copper sulfate. It keeps the algae in check fairly efficiently ... but not for long. The water takes on an other-worldly blueish glow, clearly unnatural and even a bit scary.

Today the Farmersville pond has only a little algae floating on top but, as shown in the picture above, it's rather extensive in spots. It's an endless battle. Nature wants to grow and cover. Man wants to enjoy an unobstructed view.

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