I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to the poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?
- James Thomson
Summer always brings the same chores - cleaning up everything the winter killed, fixing up borders, re-planting empty spots and, the biggest job of all, cleaning out my wildlife pond. That means pumping out all the water, scooping out all the leaves and sludge build-up, scrubbing and re-filling with clean water. The pond is quite large, so the job takes 2 staff members most of the day.
The pond has a waterfall and a fountain, not shown in the sketch, and this area, which is also where my tortoise lives, is a great attraction for all sorts of water birds. I purposely leave it to grow a bit wild with some tall indigenous grasses and a couple of indigenous trees for shade. Some of the residents are lizards, quite a few varieties of frogs, many insects including scorpions and spiders, and a few visitors like Mollie, the Mole Snake, some Brown House snakes and the odd Rinkhals (Spitting Cobra). Unfortunately Hedgehogs can't enter this area any more as I had to fence it to keep the tortoise in - left to wander the garden she cleans up most of my plants!