This is a pond journal. But since said pond contains water, fish, and plants, I guess it qualifies as an aquarium too.

Our story so far:

When I bought what was to become Badger Manor, it was just a big cow pasture: Grass, alfalfa, an irrigation ditch, and nothing else. In the 13 years we've lived here, we have planted lots and lots of trees and shrubs, built garden beds, raised chickens, and planted flowers. All of that means water. The trouble is that it doesn't rain much here in the summer, and the ditch flows intermittently. During the mid-summer haying time (when trees and tomatoes need water the most) there is often no water for a couple weeks at a time. A couple of years into this adventure, I shared this problem with the ditch boss, and he suggested digging a pond.

So, we hired a neighbor/friend who runs an excavation business to do just that, and we were soon the proud owners of a 40x50x7' hole in the ground, filled from a spur off the ditch. But despite the fact that our soil is pure clay, it never did hold water for very long. So after a couple of years, we bought a liner. In what was to become an ongoing pattern, I put it in wrong, and it leaked. By this time I had also built a drip irrigation system, and the liner still held a couple feet of water in the bottom, so the trees still had water. But most of the time, it looked like a big, ugly mud hole in our yard. Unacceptable.

Well, bring us up to the modern day. Last year, the Badgerling started kindergarten, and Mrs. Badger went back to teaching after a very important but not at all lucrative gig as a full-time mom. For the first time in several years, we had a big of disposable income, and toward the top of the list was a new pond liner. Last spring, a truck delivered a huge roll (about 900 lbs. worth) of 45 mil EPDM to our front lawn. A few good friends helped me drag it into place. I have spent a good portion of the summer moving rocks in to cover the liner. Our last liner was 60 mil, and I wish we had gone with 60 this time, as I've already had to patch a couple of small holes. But as the say, it is what it is.

This is pretty much a natural pond. The fish rustle their own grub; there's no filtration system except a waterfall I'm putting in for beauty and aeration. Water changes consist of drip irrigating 100 or so trees (I lost count several years ago), watering the lawn, and topping off the pond when I irrigate the back field. I do plan on planting a lot of water lilies and cat tails (in pots so they don't take the whole thing over). But once some good habitat is provided, my job is pretty much over. Current stocking is around 8 gold fish, plus whatever finds its way in from the ditch. Hopefully, if the thing holds enough water that the fish don't winter kill, I'll stock it with sunfish and brown trout at some point.

OK, still with me? Stand by for some pictures.