Years ago, I read an article about the mysterious disappearance of frogs. Their population was declining and there was a lot of speculation as to what was causing it. People were encouraged to make safe havens in their yards by implementing a water feature and not using toxic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. That was my incentive to make my first little pond. I started with a lined whiskey barrel with some water plants. A few years later, I put in a small, preformed, kidney shaped pond. That was a real pain to install here in New England! We hand dug our hole and the rocks were terrible. Once it was in though, it was worth it! Soon there were big old bullfrogs! They were so much fun to watch! Butterflies, bees, giant dragonflies… it was an amazing little community unto itself.
When we moved into this house, we dug another pond. This time we decided to go for a free form style. That is when you dig the size, shape and depth that you want and then drape the lining in. It was much easier, even though the rocks here made it pretty rough. It is about 6 feet wide. We dug it 3 feet down at the deepest level because I wanted goldfish and that is how deep they need to survive our winters here.
Now the pond is well established and its population has grown and is thriving! The feeder goldfish I ‘rescued’ at the pet store have grown and multiplied and survived many winters. It is so much fun having tiny little baby goldfish swimming around and seeing how big they get. They never have to be fed. They live on the bugs. In the spring, there are hundreds of little tadpoles. Watching them grow little legs and lose their tails is something I never get tired of. And we have a big frog community. In the past few years I’ve noticed a lot more dragonflies. Some of them are enormous and they come in all different colors. Butterflies too. It makes me happy to see so many butterflies and bees, especially lately when I have been reading about their decline too.
I would highly recommend that everyone create a ‘safe haven’ if they can! We may not be able to save the world but we can make our little part of it a better place .