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