The vicissitudes of dealing with flora and fauna in the country can sometimes be almost overwhelming. At the time of my last blog, as well as working on all our new projects, muskrats rose to an unwelcome prominence in our consciousness.
Last autumn, a family of these critters (pace my wife’s favourite book when she was a child ‘The Wind in the Willows’) invited themselves into Long Pond. “How wonderful” we said. “Nature in its glory” we cried.
To our chagrin the water level in the pond began to drop. And drop. And drop finally by three feet. Winter came and we could only surmise that they had chewed through our thick (and we thought, inedible) rubber pond liner. Finally, in mid May we found a small hole. Then we found another hole, big enough to drive a tractor through. Well, we thought, better check further along the edge of the pond, just in case…. Oh, joy! Now another hole, even bigger than the last one. And then another and another….
It took an entire week for the two of us to discover, uncover, clean and patch the holes (a messy, glue-y job) and restore the bottom edge of the pond, all this while trying not to destroy the beautiful red water lily plants in this particular area of Long Pond.
Filling the pond will take about 70,000 gallons (300,000 litres) of water and take three or four days. We’re praying for rain… (and hoping the muskrats have moved on to better accommodation elsewhere).
Mother Nature can be a very tough task-master when you have to deal with her head-on.