We have put in two small ponds of the eight planned. The first one is located at the top of the property. It was a small, seasonal pond M dug by hand summer before last. We used it to pump water into a 3000 gallon cistern which in turn was used to drip irrigate fruit trees planted on the swale berm during their first year. We referred to it as “Pondle”. When we had use of the excavator a few months ago, M decided to dig it deeper and a little wider. It didn’t take long before local flora and fauna started to settle in.
The second pond is actually a 4 x 4 x 4 silt pond at the end of our curtain drain. It too has only been around a few months and already has algae growing in it and now salamanders and frogs are using it as their breeding grounds. I counted at least 12 salamanders in there last weekend.
A few frogs frequent the joint as well. In the next year or so a larger pond (the largest one we have planned) will be dug into this area providing more habitat for the locals as well as our planned flock of Cayuga ducks and other waterfowl.
We have about six large compost piles cooking in different locations around the property. The field mice have been taking up residence under the tarps to stay warm. When I pulled the tarps off to turn the piles last week, the mice came scampering out. This one seems to think he is “hiding” from me behind that clump of grass.
He made a run for safety in the slate stacks, but unfortunately Magpie caught one of his buddies. You have to look closely to see the tail sticking out of her mouth. I felt bad, but it’s hard to discourage her from doing her job as a ratter. When we have the farm up and running, we don’t want the field mice taking up residence in any of the outbuildings or the house.