In the fall of 2011 we thought we would build our house, but things did not work out as planned and so we jumped ahead and invested in the pond. We researched a few sub-contractors who specialized in ponds or at least in digging, and selected a company from Bath, Michigan called Mid-Michigan Ponds. We were so unsure about how and where to lay it out, and the guy from Mid-Michigan was the only one who was really helpful with advising us on that. Everyone else just said, “Put it wherever you want it.”
We ended up placing it so that it stretched the long-ways away from the future house so we’d see the nicest reflecting view from there. We also wanted to do the least disturbing of our plantings so we wouldn’t have wasted all that effort with the wildflowers. I just hate to destroy something we’ve nurtured. The guys dug the hole so that the high part of the hill sloped down into the pond and the low part was banked up to make it level. The extra dirt was made into a gentle slope away towards the woods with a scooped out overflow area so that if we got too much water it would not head off towards the neighbors’ yard.
It was fascinating to watch the process. The pond is 12 feet deep in the middle but it is only 1/6 of an acre in surface area. After the dirt was packed down the way they wanted it, they laid down a felt mesh underlayment to protect the liner from sharp rocks, and then stretched out three huge pieces of gray rubber liner that had to be glued together to make one water-tight seal. That took some strength! Then they put dirt along the edge to hold the top in place and folded the rubber back over the top of it, finally covering the upper 1/3 of the edge with dirt to make it a pond, not a swimming pool. One end was designated to be a sandy beach, so they brought in a couple loads of sand to make that happen.
We then had the well guy and electrician bring the water and power across the field underground so we would have a hydrant to fill the pond and the electricity to run the bubbler to keep oxygen in there for the fish and to keep the water fresh. Those pictures are not so interesting, so we skip ahead to the filling of the pond. Notice the big boulders they gave us so we’d have a nice place to sit and gaze at the water one day.
As you see in my blog header, the pond has grown into a natural beauty and the wildlife have flourished. We added 300 bluegills and bass in the spring and they are learning to dodge the herons whose footprints we find in the sand along the shore. The frogs are multiplying among the cattails and I have seen one or two minnows darting around in the shallows. The fish are hybrids who do not produce a lot of babies. This is designed so that they will not become over-crowded too quickly. I plan to start picking off the big ones next year for a good fish dinner.