The garden was always about water even before there was the pond: wet through most of the year, flooded by water every time it rains, shaped literally (like a miniature river delta) and figuratively (the plants that thrive here, the wetland environment, the character of this place) by the flow of water over the land.
The pond has become the conceptual center of the garden, collecting water from the higher elevations of this ridge above the Delaware into a long, canal shape, then visually throwing the eye from the dark woodland edge into the sunny wet prairie beyond. That was its main purpose when I had it dug in March. The pond was an idea, a shape, not yet a place.
It all happened quite unexpectedly. Frogs, tadpoles, dragonflies, all sorts of insects, even garden snakes. I knew the pond would become home to frogs, perhaps even newts and salamanders, but had no notion of the delight it would bring. It's become the living center of the garden and from it hundreds of frogs and other creatures, known and not known, here and yet to be here, make their circuits out then back to the water. Hawks sometimes perch nearby; sightings of Great Blue Herons are more frequent.
The pond today contrasts dramatically with the barren hole of early April (above). Hard to believe in less than four months a water body about forty feet long and four to eight feet wide could bring so much change. (See pevious post.)
Sounds, too, and startling movements. The croaking of frogs unpredictably in the day and often late into the night, sudden splashes as they dive from their terrestrial watching places into the water, or silence as they wait at the edge of a water lily pad or lurk secretively just at the surface, fattening tadpoles popping up for a quick gulp of air (tiny black holes opening for an instant) then diving deep for protection.
The most airy ornaments, the dragon flies, carry the pond's influence upward and outward, spiraling in twos and threes, out and back, out and back, alighting briefly on dry seed heads of Carex muskingumensis or rushes.
Other ornaments - the water lilies (instant gratification) dropped in in tubs ...
... and the pond as arrow and mirror.