England. Good at ponds.

By | August 11, 2012

Gold medal pond winner

Gold medal pond winner

I never appreciated ponds in NZ. No wait, I hated them. Usually, they were concrete lined divots in middle class front lawns, covered with a chicken wire dome to keep out the cats and birds, housing half a dozen goldfish if you could see them through the murk, if they were even there, or alive. They were a constructed idea, artificial, pretentious, and one of my favourite English words, ghastly.

Bees need water. They regulate the temperature of the hive on hot days bringing droplets of water into the hive, fanning their wings over causing evaporation, and heat loss. Honey is also a dehydrated sugar mix, with such a low water content it can keep indefinitely. However, it is difficult for a bee to drink or smear on toast, so they bring water into the hive to rehydrate the honey, making it drinkable and usable during winter.

I’m lucky enough to have a pond at the allotment and its a cracker, complete with reeds and wild flowers, dragon flies, visiting bumble bees. There’s a resident fox that drinks from here too, gauging by tracks through the grass.¬†There’s also a pond at Walmer Gardens which is not quite as picturesque, but hosts an army of frogs. Earlier in spring, I caught a video of tadpoles, and soon after there were loads of tiny frogs hopping about in the long grass.¬†WalmerGardensTadpoles

These are natural ponds, and I’ve no shame in saying they are bloody marvellous.


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