The How Zone

Installing a backyard Pond


Don't get me wrong, I really like Heron. I love spotting them in ponds, statuesque and mute amongst the cat-tails. Their measured and disjointed gate reminds me of parents tip-toeing through a sea of daycare kids to gather their child. And a heron taking flight is a wondrous sight.

That all said, I still don't want a heron in the pond eating the few fish and frogs we hold so dear. There was only one thing to do: turn to an experienced pond professional.

One of Faith's piano students has been bringing me up to date on the world of amphibians. He's talked about their eating habits, preferred nesting, life expectancies, and what I might expect once the pond is established. He even filled me in on his current research in cross-breeding two particular species of frog.

So I was glad to see him the week following the heron attack. He saw the lines I'd madly stretched over the pond and quickly assessed the situation:

"I'd suggest some form of decoy. A large bird shaped statue would work, even one of those pink plastic flamingos would do well. Heron are quite territorial and you won't be bothered if they think the pond is already inhabited."

Spike the Heron

Well, meet Spike, the faux Heron. Quite rigid in his pondering of the pond, Spike sports a crest of sheet rock screws drilled into his brainpan for that special "herons unwelcome" motif. Spike traces his lineage back to another watery device (hint: look at ladder).

No Herons so far. Still, I'm looking forward to the piano student's thoughts. He's only eight, but he knows his stuff.

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