bunny_hugger commented that yesterday's entry about the pond emptying and refilling failed to convey how big a deal it was. She's right. I should try again and explain more of the nightmare involved.
When we had the pond down to just a couple inches and were trying to refill it bunny_hugger noted that we'd probably be better off if we put this pond heater in. We've had one, used to melt the ice so that animals using the pond had water, in past winters, and the extra heat would give our fish a better chance and might even draw them to where they could be trapped. But our pond heater was broken. I went out to find a replacement, and found a series of pet stores which just didn't have any. (One did have a person assuring me that if I just wanted to keep some surface open then a simple running filter would keep the ice from freezing over; even if I quite believed this, it's not what I needed.) I had to spend about an hour driving around, finally reaching Tractor Supply Company, which had heaters rated at about 50,000 watts and capable of clearing Great Lakes. This was too powerful for us and we'd get one online instead.
bunny_hugger was left with trying to refill the pond. This should have been just running the garden hose out and letting it run, but it was below freezing and the garden hose itself froze up. What we had instead were five-gallon buckets. Go ahead and estimate how many five-gallon buckets of water it takes to fill up a pond about ten feet in diameter and eighteen to twenty-four inches deep. I guessed we'd need about two hundred run from the house to the pond, and I'd done a dozen or so such runs before going out on my wasted quest for a pond heater.
Meanwhile this left bunny_hugger to her task, pouring water into mud and hoping that somehow it was enough for what the fish needed, as it stayed cold and got colder, as it started dark and got darker, and as the night just kept getting worse and there was no sign of the fish and little sign of me it was, she described, just this nightmare.
Eventually I got done with my wasted time, and we got the hose into the bathtub to melt it out, and were able to fill the pond up again over the course of a couple of hours. But obviously there was no sign of the dark fish, and given the draining, the cold, and the all-new water we could be really scared about whether they'd survived our attempts to put them someplace better for the winter.
Trivia: Heathrow Airport's concrete runways were laid in 1946 and transatlantic planes began to use the airport immediately. Its first permanent building was finished in 1955. Source: Naked Airport: A Cultural History of the World's Most Revolutionary Structure, Alastair Gordon.
Currently Reading: Degrees Kelvin: A Tale Of Genius, Invention, and Tragedy, David Lindley.