Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ice Can Be Naughty or Nice

Work with nature, or it can work against us. That's a truth whether the nature is inner or outer.

This backyard minipond swelled in recent rains, then froze to make attractive patterns.

A different scenario plays out on Linden Lane, where a sump pump discharges into the street, creating a hazard. Meanwhile, the high school's sump pump, a few blocks away, plays the role of ecological hero, discharging serendipitously and safely into a detention basin we converted into a wetland that sustains native plants, frogs, and crayfish.

A shrub like buttonbush can grow right in the water of a backyard minipond. The ice patterns arise from the slow seepage of pond water into the underlying clay, causing the ice to sag.
There's a tendency to want to get rid of sump pump water and runoff as quickly as possible, often adding to downstream flooding. More fun, and beauty, comes from a collaborative approach with nature, finding ways to use the water in the landscape.

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