I missed the ambulance when it arrived, sirens blaring, lights flashing, roaring up my driveway. I wasn’t there, I was at Lunch Club, serving fish and chips because the week was too busy to cook, so I had cheated, and ordered take-out food. But it meant I missed the ambulance, when it came.
I didn’t know there’d been an accident, until I arrived home, and was met in the driveway by one of the men working on the pond. He asked if I’d been told, if someone had phoned to tell me what had happened. I instantly assumed that one of the cats, who I’d been unable to shut away that morning, had been run over. The workmen were using a digger, and a tip-up truck, to move the soil where the pond will be, and I thought one of the cats must have run in front of a vehicle. I hid behind my sunglasses, and waited for him to tell me, not sure that I was going to react very well. So when he told me that someone had been injured by the bucket on the digger, and they’d called an ambulance as they thought his leg might be broken, I tried hard to not say:
“Oh good, I thought you’d killed one of my cats!” Instead I managed to look concerned (which I was, after I recovered from the relief of not having lost a cat) and asked how he was.
Apparently, whilst changing the bucket on the digger, it had bashed into his leg. He had managed to crawl up onto the lawn, and call one of the other workers, who phoned for an ambulance. I thought about the amount of silt that had been there a couple of days before, and how falling over in that quicksand would have been so much more horrible.
Other than injuries, the pond seems to be pretty much on track. They pumped out the water, and dug out the silt – which was several feet deep and an evil grey colour. Then they began to build the new wall with sleepers, backing them up with clay so they don’t leak. Next they will dig down, to where the water-table is (the pond is fed by the water table, which is very high just there, and tends to flood that lawn after lots of rain).
The island is a rectangle of earth that they left – if you dig around earth that is already compacted, it makes a much better island than one that is constructed with sleepers and then filled in. They will taper the edges, so the ducks can clamber out when the water level drops. One of the problems with a water table pond is that it’s very full after a lot of rain, and very shallow in dry months; so it’s hard to grow aquatic plants as they’re either submerged or dry. But ducks tend to eat absolutely everything anyway, so plants aren’t really possible unless you fence them.
At the moment, it’s all rather scary, as the lawn looks like a building site and the pond is empty. I do hope the new pond is okay, and it will be easier to stop it silting up as it’s further from the trees.
The ducks are complaining about being in a cage, and I’m constantly refilling their water bowls, as their main activity is splashing the water all over the sides. The chickens are desperate to be free, and try to escape every time I go up to see them. Thankfully, the hen has now gone broody and is sitting on her eggs. They should hatch in a couple more weeks. As the cockerel is half bantam, I’m not sure if the chicks will be small. It’s a time of waiting. I will let you know how things turn out.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the leg wasn’t broken, but was seriously bruised, so needs a few days of rest. But my cats are fine…
Thank you for reading. Have a safe week.