Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our new pond (part 2)

After the contractor left, I spent some time working on building a dock. I also used the grader blade on my tractor to take a little soil off of the shallow end. When I checked the water line on the shallow end of the pond, I realized I hadn't paid enough attention during construction. The slope and depth on a couple of the edges for several feet were not what I wanted. Just looking at it, I didn't realize how shallow the water would be along the edge of the pond.

In the following photo you can see the shallow end and the beginning of my dock construction. At the edge of the smoothed area, the bottom drops down several feet. I'm placing the dock between the deep end of the pond and the shallow end. I thought this would be an ideal location. The four posts that are set in the photo are 6x6 eastern red cedar I milled. The foreground in the photo is the shallow end of the pond after I scraped it with the grader blade. I was only able to take off a few inches of soil – not enough to make an appreciable difference, though.

The next photo looks the other direction across the shallow end. The line I cut with the blade (on the right) denotes the approximate water level. As you can see, it was going to be quite shallow.

Here’s a view of the dock construction after I set all of the posts:

The photo above shows the dock posts and the first water in the pond.

In order to deepen the pond on the shallow end, I borrowed a friend’s backhoe again. I am deeply grateful to Mike for letting me use his machine so much.

As I removed dirt with the backhoe, I put it i the back of my 1979 F250 and moved it to the slope in front of our new house.

The photo above shows the dump bed in action, a feature that makes this truck very handy. I can load up to 2 tons of material in it. That only takes 6 or 7 shovels full of dirt with the backhoe.

The photo above shows how much dirt I moved in the first afternoon and put in front of the house. It was a good opportunity to accomplish two things: deepen the shallow end of the pond and feather out the slope in front of the house.

This is a view of what I was able to get done in the first afternoon with the backhoe. I dug it down about 2.5 feet. At this point I still needed to extend the excavation out toward the middle, of course. I left a ridge under the dock dividing the deep end from the shallow end in the hope that the fish will like it that way.

This view shows the pool of water from the rain we received earlier that week. You can also see that although I got down to clay in one part of this excavation (the reddish/orange colored dirt), I was still digging out top soil. I didn’t remove all of it. I did end up digging deeper and removing a bit of the clay, though. More about that later. . .


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