Pond Management and Object Permanence

March 8th, 2012

Colonial_Heritage_Leaf_Litter_in_Pond_Fall_Scenic_Williamsburg_VA_2014_Kyle_Finerfrock_cMy dog Martha has a fantastic sense of object permanence. Half golden retriever, she has always been a natural when it comes to fetch. She has an intense desire to bring me things all the time. I cannot sit in my home without being given a toy and pressured to throw it. Martha is keenly aware of the location of “ball” at all times.

If for any reason there is a loss of contact with “ball” an immediate man down drill is performed. If we close her in a room at night she will continue the search in the morning as soon as she can get there. She will find it. She will not forget. I wonder about our own sense of object permanence. I see issues on ponds all the time that suggest that we are not as dogged in our approach to nutrient management.

Summer sun and warm weather bring algae and plant growth to ponds that are dormant in the winter months. That growth is also fueled by nutrients that are introduced year round. Leaves and woody debris from rain, wind and snow storms all end up in our storm water systems and then in our ponds. Although nutrients may enter the system naturally, humans tend to add our own “special sauce” to the mix.

Lawn clippings and pruning debris should never be dumped in a storm water pond or drainage area. Christmas trees, dead house plants, bicycles, scooters, bird feeders, skate boards and shopping carts are also not approved for pond consumption. While most of these items break down and cause algae blooms and extreme plant growth, the rest serve to fill up the pond. This defeats the purpose which is, of course, to hold water not shopping carts.

A quick fix is not without its charms; however, consider taking the extra step with regard to your pond. The depths might be out of sight, but keep them in mind. Avoid sweeping problems under the rug in the winter and suffer fewer problems in the summer months. When it comes to the health of your pond, remember: object permanence. Otherwise, we may have to run a man down drill for those missing lawn clippings.

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