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West Virginia pond ecosystem...improvements?

 
Jimmy Townsend
Posts: 12
Location: Hedgesville, West Virginia (eastern panhandle)
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It would have been nice to get a higher shot to show the whole ecosystem, need to rent a helicopter! 

The pond is a diamond in the fields hand.
I've been brainstorming on what to do with it.  Can't wait to know what you all think.
It lies on a shallow field, about 30 feet from a stream that runs by.  It runs off into the stream:




(more run-off, this shot is 180 degrees around from the other, the stream runs to the left of the above)

So a bit about the ecosystem... and fill me in on anything I missed out, because in many respects I am an identification newbie! 

Lower Pond :

Cattail, not exactly sure what species... latifolia?  The entire lower pond is surrounded by tons of spearmint!  I really want to get an essential oil still.  The algae tells me there isn't much of a fish guild... that will need amending! 

Upper Thicket:

At least one Mulberry, one or two elderberries, other tree species (newb needs help! ), poison ivy.  Some beautiful wildflowers(id?):



Also, this guy, which fascinated me (id?):





______

So as far as plans, I'm really out in the open, and would love to know what you folks would do were you in my shoes.  I want both the pond, surrounding, and upper thicket to be as productive in edible/'useful' plants for humans, and to sustain a larger bird ecosystem.  (There are already many bird species that love that spot!)  A few ideas I had were to make the pond slightly larger, steepen the edges, maybe put a bigass rock in the middle, and possibly make raised beds around it. (hugel?)  I'd like to thin the cattails slightly, and get some watercress, waterchessnut, maybe even blue lotus if possible.  (any suggestions for edible/non-ed water species that would do well in a 6b?)

As far as the upper thicket goes, first of all figure out everything thats there .  It is soo productive as is, and i'd like to make some of that productivity more homos sapiens friendly.  Maybe plant a few fruit trees and berry bushes? 
 
Bill Kearns
Posts: 159
Location: E Washington steppe
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Hi Jimmy,

Your pond is awesome in it's wet, lush green-ness!  One bit of info that might help ... where is your pond located in the world?

 
Jimmy Townsend
Posts: 12
Location: Hedgesville, West Virginia (eastern panhandle)
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9anda1f wrote:
Hi Jimmy,

Your pond is awesome in it's wet, lush green-ness!  One bit of info that might help ... where is your pond located in the world?




Heh, that would prolly make sense, eh?  We are in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.  Is the thingy on the left showing my location now?  Kinda new to internet forums
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Looking pretty lush..The cattails are a nice touch. Cattail (typha augustifolia) is a nutrient accumulator, specially nitrogen. The nitro-fixing bacteria are working steadily to return the valuable mineral back to the soil/system... Start by planting some blue lotus for teas... Nice find, interested to see how it goes for ya..
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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That tree looks exactly like a peach to me. 
 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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to THIN the cattails you'll probalby have to make the area deeper or steeper, as cattails will continue to regrow and take over any shallowish areas..

lovely

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9445
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Be careful making the sides of the pond steeper - a steep angle can make it impossible for critters or other people to get out if they fall in.   
 
Jimmy Townsend
Posts: 12
Location: Hedgesville, West Virginia (eastern panhandle)
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Thanks everyone.

H Ludi Tyler wrote:
That tree looks exactly like a peach to me. 
 


That's what I was hoping!  Can't wait to see how it grows this year.

I'm still pondering on whether I should steepen/enlarge at all.  I'd like to get some fish in there for more complexity.  I think I'm going to try eating a few of the cattails tonight, never tried that before!  Found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrVCTE68fbU&feature=related ;
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
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A little earthworks wouldn't hurt, just don't damage the native area too much.. It's looking pretty vibrant as is...

I might suggest a maddox for the planting of water/near-water dwellers (edibles). Strike the earth near the stream bank and plant in. It provides an air pocket and vertical downward length for the root system to flourish. Minimal damage done to the existing soil structure and very fitting for most plants you have in mind. This is how a buddy and I plant with great success.

Have a look at this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJylRPl1-50

Peace -
 
duane hennon
gardener
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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the wildflowers are wild blue phlox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlox_divaricata

are there any fish in there now?
 
Jimmy Townsend
Posts: 12
Location: Hedgesville, West Virginia (eastern panhandle)
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LivingWind wrote:
A little earthworks wouldn't hurt, just don't damage the native area too much.. It's looking pretty vibrant as is...

I might suggest a maddox for the planting of water/near-water dwellers (edibles). Strike the earth near the stream bank and plant in. It provides an air pocket and vertical downward length for the root system to flourish. Minimal damage done to the existing soil structure and very fitting for most plants you have in mind. This is how a buddy and I plant with great success.

Have a look at this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJylRPl1-50

Peace -



Cool!  I think i'll just start with a maddox and a few water species, and go from there.  I've got a mulberry tree, and a few more peaches I am going to introduce into the thicket, then look for a cold hardy kiwi.  Funny,,, the day you posted that, just before, I had just finished watching that lawton vid.  I love that guy!



duane wrote:

the wildflowers are wild blue phlox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlox_divaricata

are there any fish in there now?


Thanks for the id.    I think im going to collect some of the seeds.  Ya know, I'm not sure if there are any fish in there.  I sat around for about 5 hours one day meditating, and didn't see any action.  Judging by the runoff, and the algae, i'd say no.  Pond scuba time to find out! 
 
R. Peacock
Posts: 35
Location: eastern part of West Tennessee
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Make sure that is not a certified wetland, there are federal angencies that don't care if you own the land, they know what's best for the world.  If you don't want to buy some fingerling fish to stock the pond, just trap some fish and move them from the stream.    That pond and field appear to be part of the flood plain, or what we call bottomland, of that stream.  That usally means deep moist topsoil.  If transportation is not too much of a problem, any soil removed from the pond or field would be good to suppliment your garden. 
 
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