Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finished dock building and planted some marginals...

Well I finished building the dock yesterday and put the final bolts into the arbor  frame today..went around and dug up a few plants to plant in the boggy area around the dock...dug up a large clump of light blue siberian iris, several tiny hosta bits and a small filipendula to put around the dock and on some high dry areas.

The water level in the photos is still way way below normal..in the final photos you can see where the normal water level will be.

First photo is looking from behind the house across the pond from the SW
You can see the arbor and the dock across the pond on the north side here.

This view is from the West side looking toward the dock, you can see that there are still two water levels, the closer is about 2' lower than the farther water level..which is still about 2 and a half feet lower than the normal pond level..since the new dig.

This is my  favorite place to sit in the yard, the view is the pond and the field, and the woods to the North. beside that aspen tree to the left you can see my baby butternut tree, there is also a baby carpathian walnut and black walnut farther to the left..25' apart..to the right is the pond, see next photo. You can see the trails going back off into the woods to the North.

You can see that the bank still has some work to be done on it, near the trees, and the trails go off on this end of the woods as well. the Pond is to the left..nearest area is a shallow area that will be planted to some bog plants but it is generally about 2 and a half feet deep when it is full..

this bank is all clay, and has now been sown to grass seed..you can see the rock piles in the shallow dried out end of the pond..there are also some marginal water plants planted in this area..which generally would be under 2 and a half foot of water here..If you look at the far banks you can see how low the water level is, it would normally be to the top of those far banks.

Here is a closer photo of the dock and arbor, which will have a rustic trellis built on it eventually. You can see the clay piles on the far bank that still have to be moved and the banks shaped. The water will eventually reach up to the top of that far bank when full.

Looking down from the dock to the water lilies..which just finiahed blooming..these ones are white. There are about a dozen large lilies in this area but they are delapatated from the drought..and there are others on the other pond areas as well. There are other marginals in this area also. You can see on the far bank how high the water level SHOULD be.

There are lots of goldfish in this area hanging out until the pond is healed, but can't see them right now cause Ron just roiled up the clay in the water washing a shovel off..

I am standing on the dock in this photo looking toward the SE toward the bank on the far side of the North pond area..the one large pile will be left as a backdrop for hunting (in the center) but the other piles will be removed and this area on the opposite bank will be levelled and seeded to grass seed for a recreational area. The lilac tree will be cut down to rejuvenate.

The water level will go all the way up to the grassline when the pond is full..this are will be landscaped with the backblade (with Joel's talented tractor work) in the future as well...right now it sits till Joel has time to mess with finishing it. Water level should be up by 2 and a half feet by Srping.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Water is filling in in the new pond dig

With just a little rain since the pond dig the water is already filling in some so you can now see a little more of the outline that will be present when the banks are finished and the pond is full.
Above photos are from the same shot one week apart, youcan see the outline of the pond now filling in.

The totally dry are is filling in a little from the rain.

Still a LOT of water needs to be filled in to reach the normal water depth level.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We have been having lake effect rain and strong winds the past few days..thought my covered swing was safe, as it hadn't blown over since I had moved it under the tree, thought the tree was protecting it...but no..I found it in the pond today with the awning shredded (evidently by the protector tree).


Awning is now removed, think I may like it better without the awning anyway..we'll see..but it shouldn't blow over any more.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Well some rain has come and the pond is beginning to fill in where we have redug it out deeper now, probably about 4" up on the level now than it was just last week. I realized my porch gutter that drains to the pond had pulled away and none of the water was going to the pond from the porch roof (about 40 gallons per storm were being lost)..so yesterday I repaired the porch gutter and the leaks are mostly all cleaned up now (the drain still needs some repair but the gutter is working beautifully). So  now everytime we have a rainstorm the biggest share of 60 to 80 gallons of water should be heading for the catchment pond with much less leakage. The new drain material is on the shopping list for next trip to the store and then 100 % of the water off that area of the roof should be heading for the pond, which should make a huge difference in the pond levels for next year. Good to see the water levels going up and the new dig taking shape. Photos soon (it's raining out).

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Well when I went out to the pond at 8:30 last night, I was sure surprised to see a whole bunch of goldfish feeding. I knew that there were probably some that survived the dig, as Joel was careful to NOT DIG in the area that we thought that the goldfish had taken refuge, but with all the herons and drought, we weren't sure that they had survived, as we had not seen any.

Well there they were, several of them, feeding on night bugs, just east of the dock I'm building. So fun to see them happy and healthy, but we really need a lot of rain !! That area that they are in is so low from the drought and the dig, I'm not sure how much longer they'll survive if we don't get a good rain.

The UP is supposed to get 5" today, but not us, we'll be lucky to get wet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last day of summer 2010

Well my TO DO list is still mostly undone, not good, summer is gone and I am kicking myself for what I didn't get done. Oh well. We do have the firewood up for at least half of the winter, the pond got dug, some trails were made in the woods and the greenhouse does have harvest size greens and salads growing nicely in it so I'm not totally behind on everything.

Today I'm thinking, time to start cutting down some of the spent plants in the garden, and using some of the "parts" to mulch an area of woodland trail that is rough and has stump parts sticking up through, to lessen the trip and fall problems.

Yesterday was 80 degrees and rain, today in the 70's but we know that won't last, so time to get myself out there to finish up some of the things that need to be done.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

work on pond banks yesterday (9/20/10)

Yesterday Joel worked with the tracgtor on the far (East) bank, removing piles of clay and backblading)..between the lilac North and olive South.

Building a little target practice backstop.

Looking back toward the pond from the east field to where Joel was removing dirt piles and backblading. Still needs a lot of work and lots of piles to move. There is another huge pile behind the liliac (will be visible in other photos farther on). and south of these trees as well ..next photo.

Here are two of the piles south of the Olive and North of the Hemlock tree. Joel began to remove part of these piles to level an area to the right not visible in photo. SE corner of pond banks.

Looking NE over the partially dried out pond area that was not redug, on the far side of the dock is an older pond area that was deeper and still has some water in it..and white water lilies.

I have been hand levelling this bank so I could sow it to grass seed. The dock will be finished when I can get to the store with the truck for lumber, and I still have to put trellis on the arbor. There are plants planted along the place where the water level comes to when the pond is full. From near to far there is a baby white pine, smoke bush, red and gold barberries, spierea, iris, ajuga, ligularia, filipendula, blue spruce, alberta spruce, white edge dogwood, hostas, hardy geraniums, siberian iris, willows, box elder, japanese maples, red maples, rhododendron, weeping willow, fir, chamaecyparis, junipers, arborvitaes, euonomys, snowball, weigela, purple leaf beech and cherry , etc.

Just North of this bank is a woods that I have been putting cuttings and seed pods and wildflower seed at the edges of the paths and clearings. Some of the seeds I have put in the woods edges are: Baptisia, Hollyhock, Miniature Hollyhocks, Ratibidiam, Helianthus, Black eyed susan, Anthemis, Lady's Mantle, Gaillardia, Purple coneflower, Blue Globe Thistle, Hardy Geraniums, Queen annes lace, pink and white Lychnis, Poppies, Sweet William, Sweet Pea, Foxglove, columbine, bluebells, spiderwort, rose hips, siberian iris, daylilly seeds, Veronica, Salvia, Liatris,m and Dames Rocket.

I have finally got this entire bank sown to grass seed.

As I said earlier, there is the clay pile that is North of the lilac bush yet to be moved, as you can see it is mammoth !!
In the photo above I am standing on the North bank loking toward the SE bank, a lot of the banks were moved as you could see in the first few photos, but that huge clay bank still has to be moved, as well as all the piles on the south and on the west. That channel there is on the east side of the island. The pond water level is down several feet, so not only will it be deeper but a lot wider when it is filled back up to normal water levels..if you can see cattails in some of the photos, imagine that they would normally be standing in 6 inches to a foot of water..so that is how deep the water level will be when the pond is full again.

This has been quite an adventure, digging the pond deeper, but hopefully someday we'll have our flowing well keeping it full and going over the overflow, and maybe someday we'll plant it to fish for food..yummo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thought I'd throw in a few wildlife photos

Wanted to share some of our wildlife here  on our properpty..a few photos from the last two years..
Bambi, absorbing the reflected sunlight against our rear shed, he knows where to find a good resting spot.

Possum, nasty things..yes they are..but kinda ugly cute

guess maybe I'm looking forward to the snow, as it seems most of my favorite wildlife photos are taken in the Winter.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Raining today, rain is good

Well now that we have dug out the pond deeper, rain is a good thing. I have gotten the dock framed in now, so the rain is welcome to fill the pond back up the 2 1/2 feet that the water level was down, before the dig.

Some areas it is now down more like 4', so we need a lot of rain (or snow but I prefer rain).

June 14 last year after digging out this end of the pond.....You can see where the water level was in June of last year..but now....the same shot in the framing in the dock and arbor post below you can see where the water level is at now. Obviously we NEED the rain,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Framing in dock and a small arbor on North Bank of Pond

Just finished framing in a 10' long dock on the North Bank of the Pond, with a small arbor at the entrance to the dock and to help provide support for the dock where it attaches to the bank.
View of the dock and arbor from the peninsula on the west side of the pond. Pond is still dry from the redig and drought. When filled the water level should be just below the underside of the decking of the dock.
There are several white water lilies in the slightly deeper area at the east of the dock (far side this photo).

Looking out over the dried out more shallow area of the pond, the far end is slightly deeper and is holding water.

Going up over the clay bank to the arbor, the arbor is very rustic, but I'm not sure how I'm going to finish it. Am thinking of using rustic branches on it for vines to climb, or possibly using lattice. Will make that decision at a later date, but will be putting climbing roses and seedless grapes up over the arbor as well as possibly a woodbine vine as well, there is a goldleaf chamaecyparis on the east side of the arbor and a red leaf barberry on the west side.

Looking from the North bank toward the dock, still a lot of clay/dirt piles from redigging the pond the last two weekends.

Looking through the arbor toward the dock, with Joel's house visible beyond the far end of the pond. The last two weeks we rented a backhoe and dug out the pond to a deeper depth, although it is much less wide.
When the water fills in it will reach up to the top of the far left bank, about 2 1/2 feet deeper than it is right now on the left of the dock frame. The dock when finished will be just above the water level when full in spring.

Dressing up the Man Cave

Ron love to collect things like rocks, fungii, pine cones, old clocks, etc. and they pile up all over the place. Yesterday, I gathered them up and arranged them with a few leaves, berries and flowers on the mantle of the fireplace in the MAN CAVE..where Ron spends most of his time.

It isn't much, but it does have his collection all in one place:

Autumn is in the air

Well we have had two nights at 37 degrees and yesterday's high was 54 with rain most of the day, so it feels like fall. However, there is a forcast for warming up early next week, so here is hope to get a few more things done. The woodshed is getting full. I have the dock framed in on the North end of the pond and I have two posts of the four set for the arbor at the North end of the dock on the bank. I hope that it will warm up enough and dry off enough to be walking on that clay bank and pond bottom today, so I can get some more of the dock and arbor done. Last 6 cord of firewood delivery is due here today. Still have to repair our Greenwood Hydronic Wood furnace, as the door ceramic is loose, and the company went bankrupt so they aren't honoring our warranty. Leaves are just now beginning to turn on the trees but no frost as of yet. The greenhouse is now producing salads and greens for my fall garden and the main garden is still producing for now. Autumn is still about a week away and we have had a very warm, very dry Summer season.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

North bank and dock

Well Ron worked on the North bank of the pond last night but he kinda tore up the level ground, so I spent about 3 hours raking it all level this morning/afternoon and got it done really nice..all ready for grass seed.

While the water is out of the pond I decided to get ready to put a dock in on the North end of the pond, now off of the finished bank. I dug 2 post holes in the shallow pond about 10' out from the bank, and framed in a dock about 4' wide and 10' long.

I'll finish this later but got the digging that had to be done before we get rain and the pond fills back in. When the pond is full the water level will nearly reach the decking on the dock (which I'll add when i can buy the baords)...you will be able to sit on the dock and hang your feet over into the water and nearly touch the floor of the pond in this shallow area..and to the East of the dock is where it is deeper and there are white water lilies and purple arum planted. I'm considering extending this dock all the way across this narrow area of the pond to the West bank..which would make it a bridge rather than a dock.

I have some rustic posts salvaged and I'm planning on putting an arbor on the North bank at the end of the dock (or bridge) and I have a grapevine ordered and an apricot tree, and hope to put the grapevine over a rustic arbor on the North bank, that you would walk through to reach the dock/bridge, and then plant the apricot tree up on the bank as well nearby. I had to move two shrubs that were right in the walkway at the end of the dock as they would have blocked access to it, one was a golden chamaecyparis and i moved it slightly to the east of the area where the arbor will be, and the other was a red leaf barberry, full size, and I moved it to the south west , so it won't scratch people walking onto the dock..but it will still be very nearby and will be a pretty accent in that area.

There are other plants along the North bank of the dock. A white edge variegated dogwood, other barberries, both red and gold leafed ones. Several arborvitaes and colored foliage junipers in blue and gold and green, a gold leaf spirea, an alberta and a blue spruce, and a  white pine, some rocket ligularias, some hostas, some filipendulas with pink flowers, siberian and bearded iris, daylillies, hardy geraniums, plus many other perennial plants and shrubs, a rhododendron and even a baby weeping willow tree.

This is a baby area and will be really nice when it grows up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 12 and 13, mini backhoe and Tractor working on pond and dirt moving

Well we got the mini back hoe and dozer, and Joel began on Saturday a little but mostly on Sunday working on the pond digging. With the larger backhoe he had gotten a lot of the center and around the island dug out before it broke down, so he is starting here to try to finish digging out south of the island on the south end of the pond. The island is at the very center above the joint in the arm of the backhoe, hard to see, a deep hole is just bottom left of the island, he was careful not to break into that hole and disturb the water and fish in that area. In this photo he was just getting a start on the south end.
In this photo I am standing on the east side of the pond looking west toward our rear garden, the deep hole is at the far right of the picture, that was dug in 2008. This area where he is digging is where he had brushhogged out the cattails (photos in previous posts). The water level would generally be above the base of the cattails, you can see the dried mud on the cattails where the water level should reach to.

Here you can see where he dug around the east side of the island, island shown on the far left with a channel around it, dirt piles extend out from the banks into where the pond WAS. Here Joel is digging on the SE part of the pond.

Same spot, different camera angle. This shows the trees on the SE bank of the pond. this bank is now movinng back as the pond won't be as close to the trees as it was before, the dirt piles will extend into the previous pondline some even after they are moved back..so this will make the pond smaller but deeper on the SE end here.

Same digging site another angle, woods seen to the North, the pond continues beyond that huge mud pile in the center of the photograph and the island is at the left. the pond beyond the island is actually larger than this area of the pond.

This photo is up on the bank on the south of the west side of the pond, Joel is moving some of the dirt piles with the backhoe and Ron is shoving some of the piles farther off of the pond edge, so that it isn't in Joel's way.

In this photo Joel has the backhoe up on the east side bank at the center of the pond, moving some of the dirt piles, Ron is helping move the dirt out of Joel's way.

In this photo you can see that part of the dirt pile on the east side has been removed and Joel is fillling in a bank area around the olive tree that was hanging out over the pond, and removing some of the excess mud and clay from the bank. The rest of the piles here will have to wait to be done by the tractor, later as we have limited backhoe time.

Here Joel is making a landing so he can get far enough out to dig out the piles on the SW corner of the pond, this area is where he had brushogged down the cattails, south of the deeper hole, nearest our house.

Progress on the SW corner of the pond, Ron helping to remove more of the dirt piles.

Getting a lot of the mess out of the way, on the SW corner of the pond.

Moved the backhoe back to the SE corner of the pond to try to clean up the dirt piles some more and get the edges of the pond cleaned up some, less than an hour now before dark !!

Ron still working on moving some piles of mud. On the West corner of the pond.

Getting dark, hurrying to finish up as much as he can get moved before we lose sun. After he dug here he went and dug a little west of the island and then and to quit as he was using a flashlight to see by.

Monday morning view from the south bank, reflection makes it hard to see the water on the west around the island. You can see on the island where the high water level comes nearly to the top, the new area is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet deeper than the high water mark in this area, shallowing somewhat at the south banks for children and wildlife access.

Teeth marks on the banks show where the banks were before digging.

This morning's view of the SW corner of the pond, in the shadows and reflection you can see the old deep hole at the far upper right edge, the rest is all dug deeper new. YOu can see there is still a large pile of mud to move with the tractor, which will bring the bank level down about 3 or 4 feet lower.

Standing on the south  bank looking north, the deep hole right in the center, the island to the right of the deep hole, a channel around the island on the far right, channel also goes around the island on the left but it isn't very visible in this photo. Lots of mud to move on the right yet...later with the Tractor.

Same view, better angle of the water and banks from the south bank looking North.

Standing on the Southwest bank by the Redleaf Barberry bush looking Northwest toward all the mud piles we'll still have to be moving eventually to get the banks back to level. The one area is partly levelled in the center of the East bank, Island in the center of the pond on the left.

the last thing Joel did before putting the tractor to bed last night. He dug out the channel on the West side of the island. Eventually there will be a bridge here going over to the island from a penninsula that sticks out into the pond at this point. To the south here is the main part of the pond south, which has a deep hole just to my right and deep and shallow areas in a somewhat circular form. There is another channel on the far side of the island seen in photos earlier on this post. and then on the far left is another oval shaped pond area on the North, this has a very shallow side on the west and a deeper area on the east that has white water lilies planted in it. There is a cattail area just to my left where this photo was taken, that has been left for "habitat for inhumanity".
The deeper area of the pond on the east is somewhat visible in the last photo on the far end, the shelf of dirt in the center is the edge of the drop off in the shallow area, to the left of that shelf is the shallow area of the pond, which would normTally be about 2 to 2 and half feet deep if the pond is at its fullest depth.
This photo was taken from the North bank looking south toward Joel's house , shallow dried out part to the center and right, deeper full part not seedn to the left.
Next photo standing on the peninsula on the west side beside the island looking south over the deep hole and toward the southeast bank of the pond.