The pond drops a few feet each year after the water stops flowing in the fall. When we built the pond (it was just a marshy spot when we bought this land), we placed a layer of heavy clay-dirt in the bottom of the big hole we had excavated to create the pond. The dozer spread that clay all around the bottom, then pushed it up the sides. We live on a rocky mesa and had we not done this, the pond would not hold water because it would all have flowed right into the gravely ground. When the dozer pushed the dirt up on the sides, it didn't go quite to the top. For this reason, when there is not inflow, the pond level slowly drops as it leaks out the gravel until it reaches the level of the tightly packed clay. (I know there is a Sacrament Meeting talk in that somewhere...)
You can see the rocky ring around the pond. The water level will eventually rise up to the level of the grass as soon as irrigation water starts flowing into the pond.
It is interesting to watch the pond fill each spring.
The water flows into the pond from this waterfall. It's flowing really well today as extra water from a neighboring ranch flows through our land.
By this time of year the pond has gotten pretty yucky and the inflow of water doesn't help a lot; in fact, it pretty much just stirs everything up.
We do have a windmill (can you see it in the next pic?) that is attached to a hose that goes to the bottom of the pond. When the windmill turns, it pumps air into the hose and aerates (or puts air into) the pond. This is to help the pond stay healthy when the water does not flow. So although we aerate the pond, it is not enough to keep it really nice.
In this picture you can see the floating 'stuff' in the bottom left corner. If you look close at the top of the pond, you can also see the current from the inflow of the irrigation. It looks like ripples.
When I first used to see the pond fill it behaved unexpectedly. I thought once the fresh water flowed into the pond, it would make it cleaner and healthier. I guess it did help somewhat, but not by much. Like I said, it just kinda stirred things up. What really made a difference in the health, cleanliness, and beauty of the pond was when it finally got full enough to reach the outflow pipe.
Once water starts flowing out of the pond, there is an almost instant improvement. And in a very short time, the pond becomes clearer and much more inviting. It is the outflow that makes it a place where things can live and grow. It is the outflow that keep it from being yucky.
This is true for all bodies of water. And I think it is true for me. It is a principle of nature that I sometimes forget. I think the inflow of things to me (meaning any selfish-type stuff) will make my life better. instead, it just kinda stirs the muck around and dilutes me a little bit. It's when I focus on the outflow (stuff like service and focusing on family) when I feel good. Cleaner. Healthier. Clearer.
Sometimes we just need to let things go. Let the gunk flow right on out of our lives. There is no good that comes from holding onto the unpleasant stuff.
Man I like that pond.