Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Remind Me, Dear, Why Was It Again We Decided To Build A Pond In Our Yard? (With a Poll!)

Like many of you, I find that as we get older and more experienced in life, we learn many things. One of the things I have learned is that I was much dumber in the past than I am now. For example, when we were putting in our yard in about 2001, Lynette and I decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to have a "water feature" in the yard. I guess we wanted to be able to relax in lawn chairs on our deck on a summer evening and hear the peaceful sound of the bubbling waterfall, which would then make us have to go to the bathroom.

Allow me to summarize for you some things I have learned about having "water features" from my own experience:
1. They are always a mess.
2. They are really a lot of work to build.
3. They are even more work after you're done building them.
4. I will never build one again.
5. They are always a mess.

Gaining experience in life is wonderful. My 40 year old self would love to have been able to tell my 30 year old self what an idiot he was for deciding to build a pond.

This brings me to today's experience. The Bingham Pond has been getting a little out of control the past couple summers. The lily pad colonies had grown beyond the combined biomass of an acre of rainforest and this made it impossible to see through the water or keep the algae under control. Lynette told me that if I would remove the lily pad planters from the pond today, she would thin them and replant them.

Naturally, I decided that the easiest way to do this would be to just barefoot wade into the pond and start tossing stuff out. Big mistake.

I waded around in the black mucky water for about ten minutes and managed to toss out most of the excess plant material. Then upon exiting the pond I noticed this (you really need to click to zoom in for the full effect):




That's just one side of one foot, so if you count both feet I'm estimating that is 500+ leeches I picked up in a few minutes. And in case you were curious, no, they did not just rinse off. They were firmly attached with their little suckers or whatever and basically had to be scraped off individually. They did not leave big bloody sores like in the movies, but I think they were working on it. On the bright side, yesterday I was starting to think I was coming down with something, but now I think maybe all of my evil humours have been sucked out and I'm all better.

For some reason, the biggest thing that bothered me about this episode was, how did this thriving colony of thousands of leeches get started? Do leeches just magically appear in any icky, scummy pond? Our pond started out with clean water and we haven't put anything into it except lily pads and chemicals. The nearest standing body of water is Salem Pond, a mile away. Do baby leeches in Salem Pond climb up trees, spin little silken parachutes, and drift away on the wind like in Charlotte's Web? To me this seems like evidence for the theory of spontaneous generation, which I thought had been disproved. We're interested in commentary from our many readers who may be expert leech biologists.

With the new leech infestation, we're trying to decide if having a pond is worth it. Here's what the area looks like after I pumped out most of the water today:



As you can see, the area looks like it has potential, as long as you have a full time crew of Mexicans gardeners, or an extra thirty hours a week, to keep all the weeds down and everything pruned. As it is now, it looks pretty raggedy up close. We'd like your help deciding where we should go from here. Check the poll in the right hand column and cast your vote! We will wait a week until all 2 of our readers have responded, then throw away the information and choose whatever seems like the laziest option. After that, we will wait 10 years, then look back and make fun of how stupid we were when we were only 40.

6 comments:

Josh said...

That was the most horrifying picture ever. I know you are a doctor, and you look at impacted fecal matter in 80 year old rectums all day, but as for me and my house, that was NHASTY.

I have often wondered why people want water features...good to know it isn't worth it.

Maureen said...

OH, MY GOODNESS! WHY DID I ZOOM IN? I THINK I AM SICK, AND SURELY WILL HAVE NIGHTMARES TONIGHT. I WAS JUST TELLING LYNETTE LAST WEEK WHAT A NICE SPOT YOUR WATER FEATURE WAS. I HOW EVER WAS UNAWARE OF THE LURKING LEACHES. JARED, YOU MUST HAVE HAD SOMETHING THEY LIKED. NOW YOU NEED TO FIND SOMETHING THAT LIKES LEACHES.

Marcie said...

That is disgusting! I can't believe I live that close to leaches. Get rid of it all. YUCK!!Cement the area and put in a bbq and lets roast some marshmallows!

Damon said...

First off HAHAHA!

Second, I would say feed em daily, let em grow big and fat and then use em for bait at Salem pond! Tell your kids that blood-letting is gaining a resurgence in the medical field, and they need to keep "open minds" about feeding the leeches.

Third, you could opt for an underground, bleach filled water feature, that has no actual pond, and liberally add enough bleach to kill any present or future leeches every spring, summer fall and winter.

Fourth, SERIOUSLY dude where the @#$@ did that many leeches even come from?!?

Fifth, dynamite that whole corner of your yard.

IDK, maybe combine a few of the above suggestions.........

The only thing I know FOR SURE is that is has to have something to do with Obama being president.

j, l, c, p, e, e said...

That's freakin' hilarious. And what's just as hilarious are Josh and Damon's comments. As for me, I've decided long ago that I will someday have a water feature that disappears underground like your dad's. I refuse to have any pond-like (standing/surface) water feature in my yards. The chance of mosquitoes alone is the biggest deterrence. And now LEACHES??? dude !!!
-Jim

Lynette said...

Just so you know Jim, we haven't ever had any problems with mosquitos... just algae and now, leeches!