Wednesday, December 02, 2015

To Puddle or Not to Puddle?

Just to clear my head of allotment thoughts somewhat before getting back to my new Scot emergent bilinguals.

There may be a rain window tomorrow afternoon, with a few hours of clear skies, and I need to get a start on the new pond area, just to get some drainage. I'm for digging down a in a 4-5yd sq patch in the NE, (where the  soggy compost cage is now) to the clay, and then down another couple of spade depths. The hope is that the water will run down there, out of both beds, so that I can clear a similar area later on the NW side. Of course, clay needs to be puddled to make a pond, but my urgent object at this stage is drainage. Unpuddled, the water will eventually soak down through the clay. Of course, some puddling will occur anyway as I'm digging. I just hope I can get deep enough before it all fills with water, because I found on the aborted Old Greenhouse Pond area, that digging already water logged clay is problematical.

This got me thinking about amphibians' natural habitats and their evolution. I can see an ancient forest, with a large old tree felled by a storm which tore it up by the roots, leaving a depression, exposing the clay subsoil. It would have attracted larger mammals, like wild cattle, looking for a drink, and they would have inadvertently puddled it. It would continue in that way, filling, evaporating, being puddled, attracting breeding and hibernating amphibians. I need to replicate that, with me and my spade as the storm and the tree roots, and me and my wellies as the thirsty aurochs.

So, just get the bugger dug for now. Tweak and puddle later. It'll be grand.