“When you can’t go any further, turn around, and you’re there.” Kermit T. Frog
The little ceramic bird now lives atop the old stone and tile table. Last year, I stuck a stem of rosemary in the hole in the center. Once open to allow for placement of an umbrella, the center hole has long since become clogged with dirt. Rosemary is one tough customer.
Speaking of tough customers, Tech Support Guy and I finally fixed the pond filtration that was plugged up, and the pond is once more cycling through the filter. The goop that came out of the clogged return pipe – part fish poo and part decomposing plant matter – compares to compost tea the way my Dad’s eggnog (equal parts Southern Comfort and store-bought eggnog) compares to store-bought eggnog.
TSG reached over and over again into the bucket sized pool to grab hands full of solid matter that were clogging the return pipe at the bottom of the bucket. He dumped the black stinky ooze into a five gallon bucket that I then carried around and dumped on various plants and pots. This routine was repeated until the force of the gravity-assisted water pushed the rest of the muck out of the back end of the clogged pipe. We then moved to that end of the no-longer-clogged pipe and back-flushed the filter. What came out of that into my bucket was more watery, but blacker and nastier.
Of course there was splashing involved, and spilling, and perhaps just a bit of horseplay. The result was that at the end of the day, we both exuded an aroma that matched the black gunk splashed onto our arms, faces and clothes. But we were so delighted with our success that we sat on the patio, waiting for the Advil to kick in, and admiring the motion of the pond, now cycling through the uv lights that will, within the week, eliminate the algae covering the back (shallow) end of the pond behind the turtle rock in this picture. We felt like it must have felt to make mud pies and get dirty in a playground: tired, filthy, and jubilantly admiring our accomplishments.
I won’t detail how exhausted we were, and how much longer it took us to accomplish this task than it did in the old days. And of course, there's more to do. The grassy water plant that is taking over the foreground of the pond has to be cut way back. I should get the water lily pots out and divide the bulbs, or corms or whatever, but that’s for another day – a day in which I will don the fashionable fisherman’s waders – a set of rubber boots that turn into overalls, completely enclosing me up to my chest and enabling me to enter the shallow but nasty pond.
But for now, I’m tired, dirty, stinky, and content. And I’m there.