Dirt – Ponds, Water Gardens, and the Balance of Life

Pond in SUVDid we need a pond?

Don’t even ask.

Why, when we have an entire state breeding mosquitos would we want to put a stagnant pool of water in our back yard? If we want more mosquitos why not move to, say, Honduras. Having all those neighbors with lanais around their swimming pools – I wanted to give them a reason for their continued existence. “See Harry, I told you the lanai was a good idea. Look at those mosquitos swarming next door.”

More pondPerhaps we could not imagine gardening in Florida – the heat, the humidity, the bugs, snakes, poisonous plants – without even more painful stimulation. We needed more mosquitos. Think “Fifty Shades of Green.”

I bought a pre-form small enough to fit in the back of my rather small SUV, dug a hole, and plopped it in. That wasn’t enough stagnant water, so I did the same with a small, round, plastic kids swimming pool.

Placed, end to end in an endearing way all I had to do now was make them look connected. So I used some flat rocks to hide the edges (dubious value – have you ever seen any rocks in Florida?). I filled the ponds with water and placed some appropriate plants at various levels.

The result: a place not only to breed mosquitos, but also to provide a natural habitat for frogs which would attract their favorite predator – snakes.

The PondIn case I have been neglecting my avian friends – I added some gold fish. Yes, indeed, the Great American Egret did beat a path to my door.

The environment found a harmonious balance at once. The deep shade eliminated sun-grown algae. The fish and frogs kept the mosquitos at bay. The egrets and raccoons kept the fish under control. The snakes kept the frog population down and our cats kept the snake population in check.

We can manage our backyard environment. Who says humans are an invasive species?

(About Dirt)(Next Chapter – Invasive Species)

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