Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Big Pond

My parent's live on about 2 acres of property out on the Key Peninsula. I lived there from 4th grade all the way up to being married. It was a great place for a kid to grow up. There were just enough woods so you could feel like you were having an adventure, plus a good sized pond that we would put the canoe in and pretty much just float around. We could paddle a few good strokes and then we would reach the other side of the pond. I would sometimes take a book out there with me and float around and read. There was also a little creek that flowed away from the pond and ran into the woods and into a little hollow. My brother and I decided to dig a little mini pond down there. A couple of the neighbor girls joined us also. We dug a little pond about the diameter of a small round kitchen table and about 2 feet deep. We had a great time wading in it. Once the middle of summer came around though the big pond would dry up and so would the creek. But once fall and winter came again, it would fill right back up. There is a man made lake a little ways down the road and the pond is runoff from that. I remember there was even a few times when we swam in the big pond. The deepest part was probably 7 feet deep. I was always way to scared to touch the bottom. Once Ben and I did and it was really icky. It creeped me out. When we would climb out of the pond all the little hairs on our arms and legs would be black because of the dirt stuck to them. Of course we did not care at all, we just loved to go swimming. Now when I think back on it I would not go swimming in it now, but we have some great memories. When the pond was dry we would walk through it to the other side were there was a tree with a branch hanging out over the deepest side of the pond. On that side of the pond the bank was very steep so Ben climbed up into the tree and securely tied a thick rope to the branch. We tied a loop in the bottom of the rope and stuck a thick piece of wood through it. We would put the piece of rope between our legs and a walk as far up the bank as we could. Then we would jump and take off flying down over the pond. I loved that swing! I would go out there almost everyday and go swinging. It felt like I was flying. Sadly, a couple years later when we had gotten a little older and forgotten the swing, the branch broke off and that tree could no longer be used to fly over the pond. I am hoping though that we will be able to find another good tree for a rope swing though so that my brother's and my children can have the great fun that we did.

Well, over the years the property has become overgrown with blackberry bushes. They started out small and then every year got bigger and bigger until it seemed they had invaded the entire property. The big pond was completely cut of from view and their was no way to get to it. Also the little pond that we dug was completely overgrown also and there was no longer any access to it.
But just this week my parents hired a guy who goes to our church to do some excavating. He owns an excavating company. As I am writing this he is out at my parents right now clearing away all the black berry bushes. Even though black berry bushes are nice for their berries, they just seem to take over once they get going. My mom sent me some pictures of before and after. He will also be coming back tomorrow to finish up the job. I can't wait to go over there and be able to see the pond again and go to the place where we dug the little pond. I don't know if the little pond will have filled itself back up but I just want to see the little hollow again.

This picture is before any work was done. This is only a small part of the property that was invaded by blackberry bushes. Just behind the black berry bushes, you see in the distance, is the big pond. Obviously you can't actually see the pond. And just as a side note, the little red shed my mom built all by herself when we moved onto the property. She's pretty handy! She is the tom-boy of the twins.

This is a little bit of a different angle, but you can see that there are no longer any black berry bushes. Where you see the pile of twigs and brush is where the big pond is. The wood shed on the left my mom also designed and built! Yep, pretty handy! :)

This is a better picture of the pond. Behind the excavater you can see there is still a little water in the pond. I don't think there was as much runoff this year. That is my dad standing there. A couple feet in front of him is a pretty big sink hole. You can't see it from the angle of the picture, but it is pretty deep and you don't see it until you almost step into it. It goes pretty far under ground but no one risked jumping in it to see how big it actually is. My dad dumped a bunch of cinder blocks in it to keep anyone from falling in.

This is a picture of him excavating around the pond.

My mom trying her hand at the excavater. Yep, like I said, she's pretty handy! :)


Bonita said...

Looks like your parents have got quite a project going there. I'm a little leery of sink holes and the muddy bottoms of ponds. I'd be like you and keep my feet off the bottom. I'm glad you had so much fun as a kid - that is what childhood is for.

Judy Halone said...

Swings, favorite tree branches, pond adventures, climbing, swimming, reading in a canoe...

You wouldn't trade your childhood for all the fancy mansions in the world.

I feel sorry for kids who aren't able to experience the simplicity of childhood...of using their imaginations and enjoying the outdoors.

You have something in your heart you'll always take with you!

country-gospel-singer said...

Your mother sounds like a blast and a lot of fun! I would rather mow the lawn as cook! Thank you for all of your prayers. Many Blessings, Janie Marie

mreddie said...

Echoing your words, your Mom is very handy indeed. ec