Every artist has a vision. It comes from deep inside them. Being an artist myself, you'd think I understand this, but alas, there is always room for more growth.
So when my husband started saying he wanted to turn our old swimming pool (which is un-useable and full of murky water) into a pond, and put fish and frogs in there, I thought he had gone mad. You see, my hubs LOVES nature. And he loves to create aqariums and natural environments for critters. It's his art.
When we were dating we could often be found hunting frogs and turtles....what a sight, both of us in our 20's catching frogs, but it was fun and I loved his passion.
Now that we have kids, Justin likes to make an aquarium each summer. He and the kids catch something, make a natural environment for it, and catch its native food, and then they release it late summer so it can prepare to hibernate again. We had a painted turtle one summer (those things are SMART) and frogs. The past two summers Aiden has raised garder snakes. The boys are always outside catching bugs for them. It really is a great learning experience for the kids, and they also learn the importance of releasing them back, so they can live a natural life.
So this year he wanted a pond. Just so you know, our pool is not an inground pool. This would in fact be the truest of red neck ponds. I was not fond of the idea, I was actually quite embarassed. I thought for sure we would end up on one of those facebook posts, you know the ones- red neck pond- with a picture of him fishing in it or something. *sigh*
So off he and the kids went (work was slow, and he and the kid took full advantage of it). Turns out they found huge puddles that were drying up, and had sunny's (fish) and frogs, and tadpoles in them. So they rescued them, brought them home, and dumped them in the pool. Justin then made platforms from wood, coated them in tarp and even made a little overhang. He brought home plants from the creek too, and began to run the filter again. We had a redneck pond.
Well, its been a few weeks now, and today, I finally saw the art in it. My littlest came in, pure joy on his face. They were finding bugs and throwing them in and watching the fish eat them. They were all telling me at once how many little frogs with tails we have, as they have been watching the tadpoles change into frogs. They have also, unfortunately, seen the big frogs eating the little frogs. So goes the food chain.
So this morning, since I was up early enough, I ventured out to play at the "pond" with the kids. Let me tell you, it was fun to watch them feed the sunnys'. And I couldn't believe how many little frogs we have.
Here are the platforms Justin made.
They are pretty great really, with drift wood and shells for the tiny frogs to hide from the birds.
This guy above still has his tail.
This little guy was hopping all over the place. He must be hungry.
We even have minnows, see him? To the far left of the platform? He was quick, it was hard to get a picture. I bet he was hiding there from the sunnys'.
So this morning, I finally saw Justin's vision. It wasn't the pond he was building, it was the lessons the kids are learning by watching the critters grow and change. It was the joy this would bring to the boys (who finally have a reason to collect bugs). It was the team effort it would take to keep up with the care of it. The kids helped catch the critters, and build the platforms, and get the sticks and rocks and shells and plants, they feed and check on the animals throughout the day.............
Good vision sweetie. Good vision.