Morning Dew and Fish Pond

Morning Dew and Fish Pond

I would not be continuing to garden if I were not enjoying some success, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am not really sure to what that success is owed. I try a lot of things. Some continue. Some fade away. This soggy, red-sky morning I am mindful of two forces working for me. One is wet mornings, and the other is the Fish Pond.

Garden Slug by a sprouting Jerusalem artichoke.
Garden Slug by a sprouting Jerusalem artichoke.

I could not identify that creature, but it is not one of my beloved earth worms. I think the horns indicate a willingness to eat plants. Slugs. Yick. I have heard of people setting out beer traps as a way to lure slugs and then drown them. I have seen what slugs can do to a tomato. Why is this slug lying on top of the straw covering my raised bed this morning? Really I have no idea, but my guess is that it came out to enjoy the deep dew on this very wet morning. It is this scene that inspires me to nod in two directions.

First, I nod to my location. I am about two hundred yards from Buzzards Bay. Fancy gardeners call my neighborhood a microclimate. I do not even know what a microclimate is, but I have Redwoods growing on my street, and Massachusetts is not generally known for its Redwood forests.

Why air moves the way it moves is way beyond my understanding. But I am going to throw a few ideas out here. Marion is a sailing town because it blows hard July and August. Chesapeake Bay and the coast of Maine may have some beautiful sailing yachts, but when sailors want pace and excitement, they sail here. People who know, say the reason it blows hard on Buzzards Bay is due to a thermal effect, by which the land around the Bay heats up and creates a vacuum, drawing a big breeze over the water.

How that effects my garden, I do not know. I do know I live in a unique place. Air is moving all the time. Wet air is heavy. Cold air sinks. My yard is a tiny part of a vast system. Long story short, when I hear friends say they were hit by a frost or suffering a drought, many times, my yard does not show such damage. I count my good fortune.

Wet mornings are one boost to my garden, and the other lift is the Fish Pond. I am told that frogs eat slugs and other garden enemies. This fish pond, which is my fourth effort, is pretty much self sustaining. It is home to fifteen gold fish, each one capable of taking care of itself by feasting on available bugs and algae and slowing down when things ice over. They started out as nineteen cent goldies from Petco, and some are now six years old and seven inches long.

frogs and lilies, edged by sedum
frogs and lilies, edged by sedum

This photo is old, because I do not have a good frog photo handy. I tried to take one, but a frog on stark land looks embarrassing. I could not hold something so hardworking out for ridicule. Here he is in summertime. The lily is a perennial. I expect it back around the middle of June. I intend to devote a chapter on how this pond was constructed. It took a lot of trial and error, but I am happy with it.

And the moral of this story is sometimes you float, sometimes you row. Wait…. that is actually from another story. But I think it works.


Barbie Burr

Barbie Darwin Burr was born in La Jolla, California into a Navy family. Moving every year made gardening difficult, but not impossible for her father, a disciple of Scott and Helen Nearing and a man with a vast ability to imagine and create.

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