What do you get…

… when you put together this:

and add it to this:


Give up?

You get our latest project, started and finished over the weekend:

A floating dock!  We can now swim out to the middle of the pond and relax on the dock.  M will be taking out an umbrella and some chairs to make it more comfortable.

The dock is difficult to see in the picture above.  It’s to the right of the pedal boat.  Here is a better shot taken on Sunday morning:

The rake sitting on top is the giant rake we use to pull out the pond weeds.  M is going to use it to test the bottom around the dock to make sure there is nothing to get snagged on or injured with or on when we jump off the dock.  It’s anchored for now but we can always move it if need be.

Oldest Son and M did a fine job of building the dock and getting it into the water in one day.  Saturday was a hot day and I know they both appreciated going for a swim once they had the dock in the water.  The water in the pond is warm on top but grows colder a foot or two down and can be quite refreshing.

For those wondering about the pond statistics, it’s 1.5 acres in area and 13 feet deep in the middle portion.  It’s well stocked with widemouth (or largemouth) bass and bluegills (also known by some as sunfish), along with a few carp.  We’re not sure how many carp are out there.  We used to have two large carp that we nicknamed Jaws and JawsII because most of the time all we could see were their large fins slicing through the water near the edge of the pond.  We added a few more carp this year but haven’t seen much of them.  In theory, the carp are supposed to help keep down the vegetation.  We haven’t seen much evidence of it in practice, though.  Then again, it might be worse without the carp.  Who knows?

There are also snapping turtles, black snakes, bullfrogs, green frogs, tadpoles, dragonfly and damselfly nymphs, muskrats, and a whole host of other creatures living in or about the pond.  We also have frequent visitors such as great blue herons, egrets, kingfishers, green herons, deer, fox, and minks (who like to eat muskrats).  Our biggest problem with the pond this year is the plant and algae growth.  We have tried to control it through raking but it’s a big pond and a daunting task.  One of these years will get it worked out, but we’re still a long way from that now.  We did attend a pond clinic shortly after buying the property, and have tried some of the methods they recommended.  Some have been successful (too successful at times) and some have not.  It’s a big learning process for us.