Just as in the rest of the world, there is an ecology involved with the pond. Each organism depends on several others in a complex interlocking fashion that is difficult to analyze adequately.
In this pond’s case, the “top” organisms (I hesitate to say predators) are Herself and The Ol’ Curmudgeon. Secondarily, there are the felines, Effie (15), Kathena (13) and Magnus (11). The third noticeable organism is spiders. Herself likes to keep spiders around the pond. They, in turn, depend on the tinier inhabitants and invaders of the pond – ants, flies, the occasional cockroach.
Around the periphery of the pond, there are many other inhabitants. The cardinals have a nest nearby where they raise a couple of families each spring – summer. The occasional hawk is seen in the skies, frequently chased by a flock of crows. Owls can be heard down the way at twilight. Mourning doves inhabit the west end of the pond, and robins live on the east end. House wrens have laid claim to several sites, and chipmunks and gray squirrels gnaw at acorns and other leavings of the trees.
The pond is surrounded by trees. There are Norfolk pines, white oaks, dogwoods, a rhododendron, short-leaf pines and a tulip poplar. The magnolia is on the west side.
Husbanding the pond is difficult for the top organisms because they are not as young as they used to be and have some health problems. Herself is seriously arthritic and has major heat intolerance issues. The Ol’ Curmudgeon has back injuries and a bad heart. The grass often gets away from them, as does raking leaves. the poison ivy is out of control in several areas, and poison oak climbs a small tree on the SE corner of the pond.
Next spring, a few gallons of Roundup will be called for to get the PI and PO under control. Herself thinks she will be able to do this.
I just sit on my rock and watch. Sometimes I think, “Yeah, right!” Other times I realize that they are ever optimistic and have good intentions about taking care of their little piece of the earth. In the meantime, I sit on the rock and eat snails, little bits of plants, and continue to watch.
There is much entertainment in watching…