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Liquid Life

(original poem)

silky smooth undulation
anacharis waves in the flow
there, gliding, no inhibition
a myriad spawned from the roe

enfolding, entwining ribbons
a cloud of suspended life
chaotic and darting distractions
cleaving liquid like a knife

cool blueness infuses the vision
idyllic, slow-motion dream
silky smooth undulation
hypnotic beauty, serene


For all of you that have seen pages where a hole was dug and liner installed in a weekend, this is not one of those. The hole was dug in the place of a former garden that was covered with about 6-10" of fist sized stones over black plastic and the whole mess had to be taken out by hand. The stone was reused around the edges to cover the liner and keep my doggie claws from damaging it. The pond is great for getting a quick drink. The ground is clay and there were 4 tree stumps that had to be picked, axed and dug out. It took all of summer '98. The finished size is about 25' x 15' and is 36" deep on the near end rising to 18" on the far end.  We used the ubiquitous 45 mil Firestone Pondguard EPDM rubber liner over a sandwich of 8 mil plastic, shag carpeting and pad, and 8 mil plastic again. It's a good way to get rid of old carpeting. Over 4,000 pounds of pea gravel and sand were poured around the edges to set the stones. The edges are also being planted with native cattail and bog plants from the swamp just down the hill. The frogs just came in droves by themselves. 


Click the "Spot Links" on the bottom of the page to see details 

Here i am on the dock playing bow spirit

That's Dottie in the foreground. You can see she only has 1/2 a brain. This was taken in 1999. Wow, does this look barren now. After a couple of years the pond has grown very lush.

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April 1999

This is the area where the Waterfall is going to be. Dottie looks like she has no brain at all. The area in front is 2 feet of dirt over a bucked up patio. All the dirt has to be removed about 6 feet back, the concrete jacked up, a tree stump removed and then the slab leveled out. The patio has to have a 16' "river" cut through it. All the ground cover has to be removed, the broken concrete retaining walls removed and cleaned up, 2" PVC pipe buried from the pond up to the top, the pond liner installed and then the concrete laid and mortared again. There will be 2 small ponds and rapids on the terraces. This is going to take a long time. Stay tuned for updates

June 2000

Look, there's Dottie's brain. If we could just get the two halves together. Poof, one summer later and the top pond's done. There is a weir made of hardware cloth to keep the 2 small goldfish from taking a four foot dive. Just one  summer of moving concrete, dirt and hydro-engineering. Follow the construction in the Waterfall.

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Drinking Fountain?

Dottie and i are happy to have this drinking fountain in our upper water bowl.

Eau Claire (Clear Water)

The watercress in the background of the pix above and in this pix came from one small plant a month ago. The water cress and the water hyacinth have grown rampantly and helped to make the water very clear.


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i wonder if water dreams of falling?

This is what makes all the work worthwhile. Check out the animated waterfalls here.


January 1999 (We're in Grand Rapids, Michigan)

A Whisper 600 aquarium air pump and an air stone were used to keep bad gas from being trapped under the ice. It must have worked because the 3 gold fish and the water lilies lived.  Most of the winter it kept a hole in the ice except this storm that dumped a couple of feet of snow on us.

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The Old Pond

We must pay homage to the first pond at our old house. It started out in 1992 as a place to bury concrete, dirt and junk and was going to be a mound flower garden.. It looked like a volcano after piling junk and dirt in a circle with a wheelbarrow. After looking at it for a while it sparked the idea of a pond. It was fashioned with a swimming pool liner and no waterfall and it looked lame. It was torn up a week later. Ponding now began in earnest. It took a roll of chicken wire and 4,000 lbs. of concrete to make the first real pond come to life. Unfortunately, it leaked through the many pores in the concrete. To seal it we painted it with epoxy pool paint colored with mortar dye. The waterfall proved to not have a sheer enough drop.  A sheet of clear Plexiglas was siliconed down and rocks placed on top to make a lip for the falls. We went through three submersible pumps in five years and now we'll use only "outside the pond" types. The round stone to the right of the marigolds covered a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out. The electric outlet for the pump was on a pipe inside the bucket


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