Nature also has “clutter”?

3 Oct

When I moved into this safe haven in Rio Ponderosa in May there were 3 empty retention ponds out back, with the bigger, nearly empty, lake beyond.  There was brush in the lake, resulting from, well…what I now know as, the result of rapid growth and lots of rain.

The empty retention ponds were apparently mowed along with the grass surrounding them, until the rains came soon after I moved in…with the rains came increasing water depth and finally, true, “ponds”.

At first there was just this lovely, pristine, expanse of water on the three ponds…and eventually evidence of life, what looked like water drops on the surface, turned out to be tadpoles which then turned into frogs.  There were frogs EVERYWHERE, especially after the rain.  What I know as green tree frogs would climb up onto the windows, the drainspouts, the screened porch…green frogs everywhere.

I then noticed minnows in the ponds, and I remember the day I saw the FIRST gator…coming from the “big” lake into the middle retention pond, the one with the culvert which brought all the rain runoff from the streets, the pond which filled up first.   It was during another rainstorm when I realized there were BABY GATORS…at least 3 or 4, it wasn’t until a month or two later when a really big rainstorm uncovered the fact that there were at least 10 baby gators, and 3 of different sizes as well.  When the rains would come, the ponds would rise and you could see the gators swimming freely at the surface of the water.

I guess I’ve left out the part where over time, from the discovery of the tadpoles and the minnows, grass began to grow in the middle pond, then a tree or bush of some kind also appeared.  This growth gave the gators and frogs places to hide, and gave the waterfowl places to eat…The backyard became a zoo, with ducks, cranes, turtles, gators, bats, owls, frogs, etc.  It was beautiful, especially the excitement when the rains came and the ponds would fill to the top.

Over time the grass and plant life has continued to grow and now there are flowering water plants, algae (there hasn’t been rain in awhile again and the ponds are drying up again), the grass growing from under the water is plentiful and quite high and the visibility of the gators, and even some of the wildlife foraging for food is hindered.

The ponds, while beautiful in their own way, have become cluttered with plant life.   I guess it depends on what the beholder prefers…to me, the landscape needs some spring cleaning.

Even with the clutter, today, for the first time in a while (have been away for days at a time with other commitments), I have seen 4 gators, the reduced to 4 family of Moorhens (at one time it was just the two parents, then parents with 2 chicks, then the 4 of them as the chicks grew and then, one day, 4 more chicks and there were 8 Moorhens…now there are only the 4, 2 of the youngest chicks, one of the older chicks and one parent)…a huge turtle and a not so huge turtle, two pairs of sandhill cranes…

It occurred to me that Nature could use a storage unit to house all the grass, plants, and algae that is growing within the ponds…

I’ll be leaving here soon, my 7 month commitment may be cut to 6 months…I expect that the ponds will dry up again and will again be mowed over along with the surrounding lawn…and that someone, some lucky person, will get to watch the process start all over again from the closed in lanai at the back of this house.

The circle of life in real life.

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