At our Lewis Road property we have a very small pond that retains water throughout the entire year. Like many Ag wells in our area, ours pumps up sand, mainly when we first start it up. Rather than having to shut the pump down, clean out the filters and restart it every time we irrigate, we simply installed a valve with a short branching line where we could flush out the sandy water for a few minutes at the start of each irrigation set without having to shut the system down—hence the pond.

It really isn’t much to look at but it manages to capture my attention nearly every time I pass by it. It captures the attention of many wild creatures as well. Water bugs scoot across the surface, masses of polliwogs swirl around the perimeter and the blackbirds seem to regard it as part of their territory. The shore on one side is lined with water-loving sedges.

It always amazes me that, miles from the nearest large body of water, this very specific ecosystem could find its way to our humble little pond. The only thing we added was some mosquito fish to keep it from becoming a breeding ground—everything else made it there on its own. How this happens became clearer to me yesterday when I opened the gate and started to pull up the drive. I noticed a half dozen or so bean-sized, baby tree frogs hopping across the road. The polliwogs, which had seemingly doubled in size every time I saw them, had metamorphosed, and this was the day that they were to strike out on their own. As I bent down to move the baby frogs out of the way, I got to thinking about the likelihood that any individual frog would survive the multitude of perils they face and make the massive journey to the nearest body of water—no doubt very small indeed. But then again, at least two did manage to find our little pond, and when you start out with thousands, the odds are in your favor.

In other procreative news, the barn swallows in our workshop I mentioned in an earlier article successfully fledged five fine offspring. They took four or five days to become competent flyers before heading off on their own. The mother is now sitting on a second clutch of eggs in the same nest. And yesterday our daughter Amelia saw a fledgling bald eagle from the nest across the slough for the first time.

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