OK, what have we here? A stainless steel bath, sitting around in my garden... Hmm, what can we do with this?
Wow, it's pretty fancy. It's got like, Greek gods and stuff on it. Well, we probably won't be needing them, but it's nice to know they're there.
Right, so this is the old metal pot that we buried a few years ago. Not very thoroughly since some of it sticks out of the ground.
Actually, it served its purpose pretty well. In fact, it's teeming with life. It contains several medaka, an American bullfrog (naturalized), several types of snail, lots of small, dragon-like nymphs and one big ugly nymph that seems to have eaten most of the medaka, and millions of water fleas. In fact, the water is thick with these minute fleas.
Indeed, it felt a bit brutal 'liquidating' this particular pond so that a bigger, better one could take its place. But the die was cast last weekend when we went to our friends' house which they're renewing, and I spotted the bath 'going begging' as the expression has it.
I spent a good part of the day digging this hole, all the while reflecting on mortality for some reason. My own for a start, and also that of the various life forms that had come to live in the old pond. Since I hadn't enough vessels to hold the water, most of it had to be put on the ground, with all those millions of water fleas. I rescued the last surviving medaka, and a lot of snails and small nymphs. The big nymph I took to one of the big local ponds, an environment which I'm sure it will find tougher than my garden.
The bullfrog although very large, is expert at hiding. But as I was scooping out the mud and leaves at the bottom with a ladle, I noticed that I'd also scooped up the frog. Clearly deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, he sat there in the ladle with his head sticking out among the leaves, pretending not to be there, as I put him in a bucket. I had been expecting trouble, but it was quite a classy performance in the end.
When the missus came home from shopping, hilarious banter was exchanged about graves, rotenburo, and what the neighbours are thinking. It all had a certain inevitability about it and you can probably figure out for yourself how it went.
The challenge now is to make it look less like a stainless steel bath buried in the ground. As the sun was beginning to set and it became cold, I laid a few stones which suggest that some pleasant combination of naturalistic/bourgeois may be possible.
The old big pot (looking a lot bigger now it's out of the ground) and another little pot that came with it may be reburied further up the garden with a cascading sort of configuration. And all the little water fleas will be welcomed back with open arms!