Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Rebuilding the pond: Day 1

Today was a good day. I finished my administrative chores for this academic year, and took the afternoon off to start on rebuilding the pond (with help). So this afternoon was spent emptying the pond of its fish, plants, toads, and water. I'd anticipated around 100 baby fish, so I decided to count them as I scooped them out with a net and transplanted (translocated?) them into a couple of paddling pools pre-filled with ridiculously murky pond water. I lost count after around 150, and judging from the numbers that came out after that, there must be 200+ baby fish swimming around the two paddling pools (and around 9 adult fish, including one sturgeon that amazingly survived a pond to which it was quite unsuited). The pond plants, three large toads and one baby are in a third paddling pool.

While doing that, the real pond experts (John and Steve) dug out the larger plants around the edge of the pond, so that tomorrow we can lift out the current (rubbish quality) liner before rebuilding the edge of the pond in preparation for a new (high quality) liner. To help us along, the UK weather did its bit to ensure that we all got soaked through with the first rainfall in weeks. Apparently it will now continue raining until we've finished; so once we no longer need to work in the outdoors, the sun will come out, the birds will sing, and I'll be nursing a bad chest infection...

By the way, when I wrote that a baby was in the third paddling pool, I was referring to a baby toad... there are no human babies in the paddling pool. At least, not any more (they didn't like the pond water so they scuttled off...).