Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reflections On a Pond


Location ... Location ... Location

Cedarmere farm is surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains on three sides.  To the front of the house is County Line Mountain, to the right is Flattop Mountain, and to the back is Brokenback Mountain, all part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

My husband and I love the mountains but we also love water.  The solution?  A pond!  Given that our farm is surrounded on three sides by mountains, we were hopeful that we could locate a perfect spot for our pond.

We set out to explore the possibility of creating our dream landscape in the winter of 2010-2011.  First, we had to identify a site where there were sufficient natural springs to feed our pond.  We discovered that a swampy neglected field to the right of our house had several natural springs which formerly supplied the farm's drinking water back in the day.  We were ecstatic with that discovery because the pond would have Flattop Mountain in the backdrop and we would be able to see all three mountains when we take our walks around the pond.  Not only that, we determined that the site could easily hold a 2-acre pond -- that's over 4.5 million gallons of water!  That's a lot of water!  And that was exactly what we wanted!  

With over 4.5 million gallons of water, we worked with a pond engineer to ensure that the dam was designed and built correctly.  This was a serious issue because we had seen turbulent streams of water raging down the mountain during prior torrential rain storms; a truly frightening sight!  We began building our 2-acre pond in the spring of 2011.  It turned out to be pretty complex -- it was not just some guys with a backhoe and a dump truck.  It was a major undertaking with large equipment.

The rain that year significantly slowed the project down, to our frustration, but to the construction crew's delight. They were elated to be "stuck" on the job longer than anticipated.  Every day, the crew had a picnic at lunch time; they even had a gas grill and a picnic table set up.  Our farm was "paradise," they said.  The crew brought their families to the farm for a visit or a family picnic on some weekends.  It was a sad day for the crew when the project was complete.   They still come to visit our farm with their families.


Our careful planning and the construction crew's meticulous work paid off.  The result is spectacular. 


Breathtaking Landscape

From our farm house, we can see both the pond and Flattop Mountain.   A beautiful and peaceful combination!  The view is even more breathtaking than we had imagined.


A view from our farm house:
Our Pond and Flattop Mountain
Cedarmere Farm

A view from our farm house:
 Our Pond and Flattop Mountain
Cedarmere Farm

Misty February morning
Our Pond, Cedarmere Farm

County Line Mountain and Pond
Cedarmere Farm

Barn, Brokenback Mountain and Pond
Cedarmere Farm


Magical Transformation

The pond dramatically enhanced the physical beauty of the landscape and changed the entire atmosphere of the farm.  The 2-acre body of water brings life to a once neglected and overgrown swampy area.  The water dances and glistens under the bright sun, ripples ever so slightly with a gentle breeze, and shimmers quietly as the moon shines on it.  Water has a tremendous effect on everything it surrounds.  The pond is now the focal point of our farm. Everything we do, everywhere we go, we tend to end up at one of the resting spots we've created around the pond. Our children and our Samoyed spend endless fun hours in and around the pond.  It is difficult to believe that we could improve on the beautiful landscape that Cedarmere Farm had to offer before the pond was build, but I think we did it!  We joked with each other that we had done our earthly duty; we had successfully contributed to nature's beauty.

 Pond and Cedarmere Farm


Good Stewards

Joking aside, we try to be good stewards of the earth.  For example, we have carefully followed the recommendations of the Virginia Fish and Wildlife Service in stocking our pond, including recommended species of fish at certain ratios to ensure the health of the pond and natural balance of aquatic life.  We have built an island in the middle of the pond to provide shelter for waterfowl.  We have planted more trees and berry bushes around the pond to provide shelter and food for wildlife.  Our plan is to continue adding shelters and food sources to support the diverse wildlife that share the farm with us.


Island for Wildlife
Cedarmere Farm

Aquatic Vegetation
Cedarmere Farm

Newly Planted Trees
Cedarmere Farm

Two Visitors
 Cedarmere Farm


What Goes Around Comes Around

We've also created a beautiful refuge for ourselves.

Pond
Farm House and Smoke House
Cedarmere Farm

We were given a few pleasant surprises while the pond was being dug.  The crew uncovered beautiful boulders, three of which were spectacular beyond description.  These three unique boulders enabled us to create unique focal points around the pond.  (You'll see pictures of these boulders in a later post entitled "Water, Water Everywhere.")  

We decided that the pond will be both a place for recreation as well as for contemplation and reflection.  I will share with you what we have done to meet both of these goals in "Water, Water Everywhere."        
You are in for a treat! 
Christa



4 comments:

  1. What a magical place.
    Have a very Happy Easter!
    Ingrid

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    1. Hi Ingrid,

      Yes, it's a magical place. There is more to come .... We are very blessed.

      Happy Easter to you too.

      Christa

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  2. Christa... Catching up on my reading and loved seeing your beautiful place! A beautiful, peaceful setting for your home. The best of everything ... Mountains and water! Blessed indeed! Thanks for sharing...can't wait to see more.

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    1. Hi Susan, I am so glad you enjoyed seeing our pond. It's truly a beautiful place. Last weekend, a daughter of one of our neighbors took her engagement pictures around the pond. I can't wait to see her pictures. It would be fun to see our landscape through other people's eyes.

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