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Scotty's Place





Pondapalooza Success
2006-05-01, 3:23 p.m.

Day 617 Pondapalooza Wrap up

The pond lives. Weather here Saturday was gorgeous. Got the walls of the pond cleaned up, put in the underlayment material to protect the liner from errant rocks, roots, etc. that I may have missed. Then the fun part. Figuring out how to wrangle the 100+ pound liner into position with just Bob & I supplying the muscle.

Once we were more or less satisfied with the fit of the liner, we started filling it. I dabbled around a bit chasing wrinkles around the bottom of the pond while barefoot. But only a bit. The water was so cold it was actually painful to be in it for more than a minute. I eventually gave up wrinkle wrestling altogether, figuring that the weight of 3 feet of water ought to flatten out any wrinkles just fine.

By the time there was 2 feet or so of water in the lower part of the pond, I had the filterfalls set up and ready to test. The initial test went fine, got a nice sheet of water flowing over the edge of the falls. Messed around with placing pieces of slate on lip of the falls, trying to break up the sheet a bit. After a little fussing, came up with a layout that seemed to please Cindy & Bob, so of course, I was just thrilled with it.

Sunday we went out to a local pond specialty store with the intention of buying more fish and plants. The owner of the store warned us off adding any fish just yet, because the process of catching the fish scrapes off their protective slime coating. At water temps under 60 degrees they canít regenerate the coating fast enough and one runs the risk of the fish getting some sort of infection because of their compromised protection system. Plants were less of a concern, as long as we were looking at plants that were to be completely submerged. Pretty much left us with choices of hardy water lilies. Ended up picking up 2, with some guidance for possibly resurrecting the lily we already had.

Part of the advice we got at the pond nursery included how to move our 5 tough little Shibunkins without doing them harm. Managed to get them transferred to the pond with out laying a hand or not on them. Once they got used to the idea that there wasnít a wall 6 inches in front of their faces, it didnít take them long to discover the deeper area. Understandably, the 3 larger fish spent the bulk of the day staying deep. The two little puppies, probably too naÔve to know better bee bopped around, hi, low, edges, middle, where ever. None of the fish came up for food though. At least during daylight hours. I did notice that the larger ones were getting a little braver once the sun got lower, even sniffing around the new lilies we put on the upper level. Left them a few pellets of food floating, but still have no idea if they managed to eat them.

In the process of trimming the pond liner, we discovered that 2 smallish junipers and one holly had to be moved. Now, we know the holly will do ok in shady areas, so we relegated that to the back, northern section of our yard Ė where we have 4 hollies already doing really well. Of the two junipers that got moved, one I only scootched back a foot or so. The other one got moved to the far north, near the hollies. Not too sure how well how this guy will do. He had been in an area that was pretty much shaded by the house for the entire afternoon, but did get several hours of direct morning light. Now heís back where we lost an arborvitae a couple of years ago.

To answer a question from Mom (aka ďSportĒ), yes, besides being guilty of 20 counts of azalea-cide, I can also lay claim to offing 2 poor, innocent pyramidal arborvitae. Both of those were back on the northern border of our lot (also the scene of a 6 or 8 azalea massacre in years past). They were in the shade of our big maples and some Douglas Firs. Within a year of being planted there they were dead as doornails (what ever THAT means).

Weíve also lost 2 Arborvitae to over browsing by deer. What used to be nice 6 or 7 foot tall columns of green got transformed into these odd hourglass shaped things, skinny & brown (& bare) in the center with tufts of green on the top and bottom. The tops were just out of reach of the deer. The bottoms were buried under a foot and a half of snow most of the winter. This would be the winter of í04 Ė í05. We got a ton of snow that winter and the deer were pretty hard up for food. We happen to live in a housing tract thatís located between a small 20 acre patch of woods and a larger tract of woods, old meadow and kind of a scrubby shrub kinda stuff that stretches for a couple hundred acres. The deer come out of the larger area, walk right up the road and invade our unsuspecting suburbia and denude our poor, innocent Arborvitae. Not to mention a tulip or three (dozen).

Also lost a Kousa dogwood last year. Some friends had given it to us in memory of Cindyís mom. We planted it near our former small pond, so it was visible from the patio and also from the kitchen window. Poor little guy only made it a year, then started dying from the tips back. No clue what caused it. By last fall, there was really nothing left, so out it came.

Thatís really all the shrubicide weíve committed. Unless you count that old lilac that finally had to go and the one little Mugo pine that got scales, and the peach trees that got leaf curl two freakin times and the heather we pulled last year that actually got too big for itís location and Ė my god! Weíre practically serial killers! Many of them are isolated incidents, accidental shrubicides. Maybe they can be forgiven. The azalea massacre Ė now THATíS just downright depraved indifference to horticultural life. I should rightly be banned from ever trying to grow an azalea again, Miracid or not. Lets not get started on the perennials. Oh Ė the horrors! (Oddly, itís the ones with blue flowers that have been the most problematic)

Now, not to go thinking that some of these plants donít deserve their sometimes harsh treatment, hereís something I accidentally learned after my shower last night (No, not that): I might be allergic to those junipers I moved. After we wrapped up the days activities, I thought my forearms looked a little red. But there was so much dirt & grime it was really hard to say just what was going on. After showering off all the evidence of the days work, my forearms looked really spotted, like I had measles or something. It was also restricted to the inner portions. Considering how I wrestled one of those puppies out of the ground, thatíd be a likely area to have this rash. Iím guessing the spots are from where the needles might have poked me during the whole transplanting process. They had simmered down some as of early this morning, but got worse during my morning workout. Now, as itís easing along past lunch time, they donít look too terribly bad Ė just some widely spaced random clumps of red spots. They didnít used to bother me that way.

Wonder if Iím now allergic to gin too? Donít know if I dare try it. Maybe itís those azaleas plotting to get back at me from beyond the grave with the help of some friends, hmmm? Gin I can live without, but they better leave the mescal alone.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 195.50 on 4/29/06 (Peeking sucks. So does too much pasta, but it was so tasty)
Target: 180 by 7/1/06 (was getting nearer the target line)
Next ďofficialĒ weigh in: 5/6/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 5/1/06: 325.44
Miles with cooldown: 358.55
Target for 2006: 1000 miles

Might have to add a little something for the 5K training too.

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old habits - new tricks