Our McCloud pond, on the NE side of Mt. Shasta, 2010

It's hard to believe, but that white stuff behind the pond is SNOW.
This photo was taken on May 28, 2010. What a winter!!
But at least the pond was thawed, and the frogs were already laying their eggs!

Do please see these images of critters that visited the pond in May!
Here are some links:
Audubon's Warbler male
Audubon's Warbler pair
same Audubon's Warbler pair
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco collecting nesting material
an unusually yellow Hermit Warbler
Western Tanager male
female Red Crossbills
American Robin male
American Robin female
Green-tailed Towhee

The pond in July - it was looking lovely, but we couldn't figure out why were having to add so much water each visit...
Then in August, we found out! Yikes! It turns out that range cattle had punctured holes in the liner last fall.
Then because it was such a late Spring, and because we had water flowing in,
it wasn't noticeable until we left it for a few weeks during the dry season.

We were devastated.
Click on the colored text here if you'd like to see part of the damage: hoofprint-sized hole
THANK HEAVENS enuf water remained in the pond to support the polywogs, salamander pups and dragonfly and damselfly nymph, etc! We immediately put up shade umbrellas to keep the water from overheating and cooking our pond denizens, and collected as much of the pond water as we could in tubs to use as a 'starter culture' when we would refill the pond.

Then we started trying to find out how to do repairs! It turned out that the nearest place with pond mending materials was in Redding, a 2-hr drive, one way. Luckily a friend was coming up from our home-town area (Sonoma County) and he was willing to stop at the local pond shop there, which was near his home, and bring up pond-mending tape. Luckily we had plenty of left-over liner to use, and we were able to find a substitute pond mending glue in Mt. Shasta City.

By the end of day two of this fiasco, we had all 3 holes patched. Click here to see one of the patches!
The hardest part, for us, was yet to come. Because our home is off the grid, and the solar well pump had been pumping water into this 'endless hole', we didn't have much water stored in our water tank.

Our same GOOD friend allowed us to take water from his water storage tank as he had to head back to the Bay Area and wouldn't be needing the water. .....BUT, the largest tank we could find was 200 gallons, so we spent the large majority of the next 3 days hauling water and running it into our 3000 gallon pond!

Perhaps we could have paid to have a large water-tanker truck deliver the water, but hauling it ourselves is what worked for us!

Amazingly, deer and birds continued using the pond thru-out this period! Deer, Lazurli Buntings, other birds! Yellow Warbler.

This links shows the Mountain Chickadees in the almost dry bog!

Our work wasn't finished yet though. Since Siskiyou County is a free range county, it was up to US to fence the cattle out - so we had to develop a fence too. We hated to fence our beloved critters out though, afterall, this pond was created for them, so we designed a fence that deer could easily jump over, and fawns scramble under. It worked... you can barely make out the fence behind the buck!

Click here for an image of the pond taken in Sept. showing it almost recovered.
Our next visit was in October.

When we visited in November, we had an early snowfall. It was very pretty, and since it melted in 3 days time, we didn't mind!...EXCEPT that there was STILL a cow in our yard, and we needed to take the fence down because big snow was surely on its way. It was way past the legal time when the rancher should have had his cattle out of the range!
We believe the rancher DID come get this errant cow the next day!

We weren't able to find the time to go up in December, so it was January, and a hard freeze before we returned. See 2011.

Kathy & Dave Biggs

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