Upper Pond Panorama
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By mid-day the snow is pretty much gone although we may still get another half inch to two inches each night this time of year. It’s good sugaring weather. Cold nights and warm days that drive the sap up and down the trees.
Piglets are being born – That’s a year round thing for the most part but there is a small bit of seasonality to it. This year in particular we saw fewer mid-winter farrowings but they are coming up now as the weather warms. All the farrowing sows are in the south field this year now that we have the Ark. Some of the grower herd is also in the south but they’ll soon migrate north to join Q’Sox, the lead boar in the north herd, leaving the big boar Spitzon of the south with the late gestation and farrowing sows.
Directly in the middle of this photo is the rather obvious upper pond we put in in 2006. This photo is early enough in the morning that there is still a skim of ice on the pond from last night’s cold. The upper pond serves as water storage for the livestock as well as having fish, dragonflies, frogs and human plus canine swimmers during the warmer months. Our dogs love the water and are fascinated by the fish. Occasionally one might spot a mermaid in the pond, often early or late in the season when no sane person would possibly want to swim with the ice flows. :)
Back to the far left you can see the ferris-wheel like structure of the 2″ plastic pipe reel that held the 2,500′ of water line we installed a few years ago to bring water from the sap house spring to the upper pond. That made a big difference for our farm by boosting the available water year round, even in the dry season of July and August. We replaced the old pipes which were a leaky misc-mash of plastic, galvanized and wood. What I would love to do is put in a micro-hydroelectric generator at the pond. The pipe has a head of 165′ which is enough that we could generate all the electricity we need for our farm and butcher shop.
In the distant middle ground center you can just barely see the roof of our tiny cottage, the little house in the big woods, behind the temporary wood racks were we sorted pieces saved from cutting wood to length from construction of the butcher shop. A little to the right is Amby one of our two big vans which was an ambulance in a past life. That is our backup vehicle for when our main truck is down for repairs.
Across the pond and a little to the left is the sandy beach next to the bonfire stone ring and rock table for cookouts. The 2″ waterline from the sap house spring comes down through the rocks to the west of the beach. This keeps the pond filled with cool mountain spring water. In the winter that same water is relatively warm, compared with the outdoor temperatures, so the ice near the end of the pipe doesn’t tend to freeze up if I position the pipe right. The motion of the water also helps with preventing ice in. This keeps the oxygen levels in the pond high which the fish appreciate. For skating I like to submerge the pipe so the whole surface freezes over.
If you look closely near the right just on the other side of the pond you’ll see the piano harp on one of the big rocks.
The mountain to the left in the far distance is Sugar Mountain where our maple sugar bush is located. We’re on the eastern flank of the mountain. Looking a little to the right is Knox Mountain just past the end of our valley.
Outdoors: 27°F/43°F Sunny, 2″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F
Daily Spark: My goal in life is not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than I used to be. -Dr. Wayne Dyer