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Pond Thoughts

August 25th, 2007

     Our pond always seems to stir the imagination.  In so many ways it looks bigger than it really is… Pablo  asked a great question about the size, and I walked the pond last year to figure that out.  I don’t know why, but I always like to understand things better and find out the details of things.  

So after much walking, note taking and calculating, my estimate came to around 1.4 acres, with a little more than 11 acre-feet of water in total.  An “acre foot” is defined as the volume of water necessary to cover one acre of surface area of water to a depth of one foot.  That volume is about 325,853 gallons of water.  I won’t show the calculations, but after averaging the depth at various locations in the pond, I came up with an estimate of the pond holding more than 4 million gallons of water!  Give or take a few hundred thousand gallons of course :) 

Somehow the trees make it seem bigger with the slopes on both sides.  It was built around 1984 with a dam on a draw or hollow from a 25-30 acre watershed.  I’ve read that it’s not always best to try and build a pond from a natural draw where the water runs off because it’s often difficult to keep the dam from leaking, etc. But in this case it worked pretty well… although the dam does leak a little.  In addition to the watershed, we suspect there are some natural springs and ground water that helps keep the pond full.  It’s stays mostly full year round, but drops about five feet in the heat of summer with less rainfall and evaporation… probably a lot of the trees tap into the pond as well!  

With more rain in the Fall, the pond should fill up by December.  But what is it about the pond and water that is so… well, comforting?  Relaxing? Mysterious?  I don’t know… but it wouldn’t be the same here without it. 

Another early morning picture of the pond, facing to the west with the dam at the far right.

morning pond and dam

2 Responses to “Pond Thoughts”

  1. Pabloon 25 Aug 2007 at 6:26 pm

    At what size does one safely stop calling a body of water a pond and begin calling it a lake? (Note: if your definition does not agree with mine, I will cling to mine.)

  2. Beauon 26 Aug 2007 at 9:50 am

    That is a very good question… many in our family have even called ours “the lake” at times. I remember studying limnology in college years ago and we even debated the question then. Some say that the body of water must go through stratification and have seasonal turnover in the Fall and Spring to qualify as a lake. Our does go through turnover, but who knows? I spent a lot of time at sea in a prior life, and in many ways, I just think of our 1.4 acres of water as “the pond.” Wasn’t that body of water in “On Golden Pond” actually a rather large lake? I guess it works both ways? :)

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