A Multi-Species, Multi-Tasking Spring Workout

Okay, everybody!  It’s obvious that the dead plants along the edge of the pond have to be cleared out, and goodness knows that will be a workout. But we only have one week of Spring to do it in, before Summer gets here and stays for 8 months!

Dead plants from last year.

Briers and invasive plants can grow hidden in the stalks from last year.

Human participants, you are going to need some props.  A good rake, a shovel, some clippers, some gloves, and the all-important surf boots!

Surf boots offer protection from thorny plants, and sticks and pine cones that have fallen in the water.

Other species, you all already have all the equipment you will need.

For this super workout, Red-eared Slider will lead us in the warm-up.  Our background track starts with her favorite song, Slip-sliding Away by Paul Simon.

You know the nearer your destination — stretch everything out!
The more you’re slip-sliding away — and pull back into your shell!

a baby turtle in water

Stretch to the left!

And pull your head back!

Stretch to the right!

And retract!

Okay, it looks like Slider has slip-slid into the pond, but let’s keep it going with Crawfish!

Throw your claws in the air, and wave ’em like you just don’t care!
Now tuck your tail, and slide backward into your lair!

Throw your claws in the air!!

Slide backward to your lair!

Hmm, Crawfish has also “ducked” out on us, but now providing our soundtrack is Bullfrog, with (of course) Jeremiah was a Bullfrog by Three Dog Night.

Bullfrog provides the soundtrack, but honestly, is not much help otherwise.

It is time for Human to lead the action, to the tune of Take Me to the River by the Talking Heads:

Pull weeds from the pond’s edge; drop them on the shore.
Pull algae from the water; pull a little more.

This is where the surf boots come in great, because wading in the pond keeps you nice and cool while working out.

Half way done!

Look at all those piles of dead plants!

A little slowdown and a soundtrack change to Take My Breath Away by Berlin (the Top Gun theme song).

Now we turn it over to Mischievous Bird Grasshopper, and pick up the pace again to the track Jump Around by (the aptly named for this point in the workout) House of Pain:

Jump around! (jump around)
Jump around! (jump around)
Jump up, jump up, and get down.

Very high-energy, but not very productive as to the clean-up.

Hop, hop, hop, pose!

Ready to jump!

But great work, everybody! Look at that cleaned up shoreline!  Let’s admire our work and cool down with Shallow by Lady Gaga!

We can actually get to the water now!

Where we live, our soil has layers of sand and clay.  Our pond was formed over 60 years ago by someone just damming up a ravine, and over the years, the plant life on the shore has changed.  I can’t keep up with it, but every year I try to rake out some of the dead stuff so it doesn’t just fill up the pond.

This is what the pond and dam looked like in 1962.

This is how it looked in 2009, from pretty much the same spot.

In 2023, you can hardly see the pond from that spot because so many trees have grown up.

So here I have walked through the trees to get a clear pic of the pond. You can see how the dam is now full of trees and shrubs.

This last weekend was the perfect weather for the job, and I enjoyed finding some companions to help me. 🙂

Images from 1962 and 2023.