New Bog

Steve demostrating years of expertise by finessing this large piece of equipment.

Steve demostrating years of expertise by finessing this large piece of equipment.

Last week a new bog area was added to the main pond.  The first bog area was dug by hand, created so that there would be a shallow, flat habitat for wading birds and tadpoles.

Preparing to start.

Preparing to start.

This is called adding edge, which is an important component of any permaculture design.  The first bog is connected to the series of rain catchment basins and now is the link between rain overflow system and the large pond.  This year no rainwater left the property; it was all captured.  Edge areas in both water and plant design provide more sun and growth areas than a round or straight design.  More interesting things happen on the edge.

Gentle scraping with the bucket to discover where the subterranean irrigation lines were without stretching them.

Gentle scraping with the bucket to discover where the subterranean irrigation lines were without stretching them.

 

This new bog area was dug by a tractor that I’d shared rental with a friend.  It took a large mound of dirt and filled in some dips, leveling a walking and working area.

Another, cross-pond view of the new bog.

Another, cross-pond view of the new bog.

Steve, who among his many talents is also a heavy equipment operator, did a terrific job grading and then expanding the pond.  A small problem is that he found some more porous soil with the clay, so the water level on the pond dropped.

Water is filling in.

Water is filling in.

We’re seeing how far it goes down to tell if the seepage is occurring on the edge or on the bottom of the new area.  Once found, we’ll move extra clay over and tamp it all in.

The first, hand-dug bog now filling with plants.

The first, hand-dug bog now filling with plants.

Plants Jacob has put into the first bog include graceful cattails, which are a dwarf cattail that isn’t so invasive, iris, rushes, watercress, and some Mexican waterlily.

Sophie admiring the first bog.

Sophie admiring the first bog.

Very soon the plants will cover the bog areas providing excellent cover for many animal species which… wait for it… live on the edge.

Waiting to see how it sealed and then ready for planting.

Waiting to see how it sealed and then ready for planting.

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