The real estate ad basically said "40 acres with a pond" and so off I went. At first sight, it wasn't much to look at - the pond was fairly new and nondescript. There was a large pile of clay filled dirt in the middle of the only cleared level area of the acreage. Any signs of the former brick farmhouse and barn were totally gone. Still, it was "up north" and definitely rural. On that first visit, a soft rain fell and as I stepped from the car, the silence was immense. The price was right, at the least, perhaps a good future investment??? And so we became landowners. The first year, Mr. Outback planted a couple of willow trees which the deer promptly feasted on until we installed protective fencing. The pile of clayfilled dirt remained and greeted us everytime we decided to "drive up to the property." I don't remember exactly when we decided to build...we were so naive. A year long project gave us the log home we had talked about for ages. (And more maintenance then we could have imagined!) The small willow trees survived and now line the grassy bank of the pond offering shelter to many birds.
Our pond has become an integral element of this place we call home.
It teems with life. Eventually in a shallow area in the middle of the pond, water based vegetation began to appear and a small island was formed.
It has now become the site of annually returning geese who nest there.
|The 4 kids - growing fast!|
The pond is also an important source of energy for us. Submerged under the water is a complex set of piping that has allowed us to avoid buying foreign oil. Our geo-thermal system heats us in winter and comfortably cools us on a warm summer day. When we go without rain for lengths of time, I began to worry as the water level drops. Not so this week...we have received over 3" just in the last 2 days. The sound of rushing water is music to the ear as it flows down from a spring up in the woods. Excess water runs under the walking bridge and spills over the dam. Nature is at her most lovely state right now. Each morning as I come down the stairs, my gaze always goes to the pond - it is still there, constantly renewing itself and changing.
Mr. Outback keeps the walking path trimmed and our girls love to stroll along with us and explore...
And next year, the pond will be a backdrop as families and friends gather for the wedding of our son, David and his beautiful Jena. This past weekend, a lovely engagement ring was placed on her hand while they were in Cordova, Alaska. Our minds are all ready spinning with the possibilities of how to do an outdoor celebration....such fun planning ahead!