I'll admit it - I've become a terrible bore. In the three weeks since the big hole in my garden was filled with water, I've been unable to stop talking about it. I'm besotted by my new pond and its contents.
Creating it wasn't easy. It took two days of hard labour by me and my mother in the hot sun. Our clay soil is heavy stuff and there was a lot of it after we'd dug the hole, which measures 3.5 m x 2.5 m x 0.75 m deep (about 11' 6" by 8' 3" by 2' 6").
By lunchtime on the second day, we'd lined the hole with underlay, then pond liner and were just about ready to fill it with water. Two hours later, it was full and I'd finished trimming the edges, but I was so exhausted I had to have a lie down on the grass!The payback for all the hard work started less than 24 hours later. I was relaxing by the 'pool' when I suddenly noticed movement on the water's surface. A pondskater was gliding about on the surface looking for bugs which had fallen in and got stuck in the surface tension. My pond had pondlife! That was just the beginning, too. Over the next two weeks, the pioneering pondskater was joined by more pondskaters, water beetles, water lice, ramshorn snails (which arrived with plants donated by kind colleagues) and hundreds of mosquito larvae. I'm not wild about mosquitoes, but I know our local bats will be. Plus, they don't call dragonflies and damselflies 'mosquito hawks' for nothing.Day 16 was a warm, sunny day and I sat next to the pond to watch what was going on. Within a few minutes, I was duly rewarded as a beautiful, forget-me-not-blue broad-bodied chaser dragonfly did battle with a four-spotted chaser. They whizzed low over the pond with the occasional buzz as they clashed wings, trying to see each other off. I'm not sure which was the winner...Over the weekend, I've enjoyed watching the latest visitors - delicate azure damselflies and bold common darter dragonflies laying their eggs into the water. Goldfinches have been bathing in the shallow end. I had to fish out a few beetles which weren't aquatic.
The broad-bodied chaser's been back, too - will it be his offspring climbing out of the pond sometime over the next three years? I'll have to wait and see...
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What a fantastic dragonfly, Jane. I haven't seen one of those in the garden yet this year but there's still time yet. However, I am delighted (and just a tiny bit smug) to announce that we had our first common frog and first smooth newt in the pond on Sunday. I'm so pleased!
Don't worry I'm totally the same. I got my pond around the 16th June... and I haven't stopped talking about it since. The other day a Southern Hawker arrived and sat by the pond for over an hour see film here:
So we are both pond "bores"...