"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Damn dam

We experienced some very hot days on the farm in December.  Very hot days. Strangely enough though the evening were deliciously cool and comfortable.

But, a couple of the days were just too hot for dogs and MKid, so they did the sensible thing.

They went "swimming" in our dam.

We were told that it would take 3-odd years for the sand (clay) to settle and whoever told us that was 100% correct.  This summer it has finally managed to hold water beyond winter, and with the roughly 1/2 mtr that remained, MKid figured that that was plenty to start the cooling-off process.

But a kid can't go swimming on his own, and if there are 1, or 2, or, even better, 3 dogs to leap into the water with - well that constitutes a pool party :)
All four in the dam - muddy, wet, sticky, wet,
cool, wet :)  And, best of all, great fun!
The screams of delight / yelps of excitement were a treat.  Until MKid said, "Hey, what just bit my leg?"
A water scorpion?
Closer inspection revealed what looked like a scorpion (thus a water scorpion?) swimming nearby.

Rush, rush, rush!  "Everyone / thing / animal - OUT now!  NOW!!"  Thankfully, we couldn't see any mark on MKids leg, so we can only presume it was a branch or something that touched his leg.

But the scare was huge.  And a good lesson.  Be careful!  Be aware!  Be vigilant!

With all the frolicking the clay surface of the dam, naturally, got disturbed.  To the extent that the water level dropped - rapidly.

Day 2 after the swim: Ill-fated tadpoles...
Day 2: Just a tiny puddle of water left 2 days later...
I felt sad for the tadpoles which got marooned in the ever diminishing dam.  They didn't stand a chance.
Day 3: Dried out water, clay and tadpoles
Yes, that is a completely dry dam.  A pity, but it was worth the fun to see MKid and the dogs enjoying themselves, albeit briefly.


I know that the clay seal is there on the bottom of the dam, and I'm sure that this winter the dam will hold water again.  And, it won't be disturbed this time...


As for the frogs / toads - we have thousands hopping round / hiding under weedguard / woodpiles / rocks / waiting for me to stand on one barefoot - again...!  But I'm grateful for our frog / toad population, as we have a huge problem... (more on that later)  So losing this batch of tadpoles, although sad, is not a major train smash.  Next Spring there will be another mating / breeding season... :)

12 comments:

  1. Who knew you could pull the plug on a pond? Oh my.

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    1. New (unlined) ponds take time to settle and form a watertight layer - guess ours was still too new (3 years old LOL)

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  2. Nature sure has some critters, doesn't it? We had a pond at our old place--I had something get on me that to this day--I have NO idea what it was. Probably harmless as can be, but freaked me out. And I'm normally not skittish.

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    Replies
    1. Sue - I'm the same - can jump into any water I can't see through LOL

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  3. I remember swimming in my uncle's pond as a child. We had to share the water with bullfrog tadpoles which are HUGE! And it feels so slimy to have them run into you. Too bad your pond didn't hold the water but it does look like they had a fun, muddy mess.
    Judy

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    Replies
    1. Judy - fun, muddy, muddy and mess - you got the 100% right :)

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  4. thats amazing how it just soaked away in 2 days! your veg garden is looking incredible, its all shot up so quickly, we started our little garden this weekend, im really excited :)

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    Replies
    1. Astra - It surprised us too. But it won't happen again... LOL Good luck with your garden :)

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  5. I am sorry you lost your dam. Imagine, you even waited three years for it to seal. Now I see why JW's swamp did not last long.

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    1. Ms Belinda - Yup. And we haven't used any bentonite either... That will help, but, apparently, it needs to be mixed in with the soil.

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  6. Dani, I don't think bentonite is supposed to be mixed in the soil Just on top of it. The reason JW's swamp won't hold water is because of all the layers of fractured rock in the bottom. He only had the bentonite put over the dam and he said he couldn't afford to have it put in the pond its self because it would take way too much.

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  7. David - Thought I read somewhere that it should be gently mixed in - not too deep, but deep enough for the water to cause the "clogging" reaction. Mebbe JW needs to do a bentonite / concrete layer on the cracked rock base? Yeah - t'is pretty expensive :)

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