Sunday, July 16, 2006

Moral dilemma

I'm torn.

As much as I want to be a good citizen and follow the rules of our mandatory water restrictions (.pdf), this is one I have to break: "[You may not] Fill or top off home pools, fountains or artificial waterfalls."

I have a small fish pond in my front yard that is rapidly losing water. I first assumed evaporation was the culprit behind the falling water line, as natural forces seem to find a way in even the most artificial environments, like a plastic-lined coy pond.

The rate at which the water disappeared and the fact that the pond is generally shaded, however, led me to wonder if my pond has become the neighborhood watering hole for the foxes, raccoons, opossums, cats and other creatures brave enough to dip their mouths into a pond full of specially-trained attack fish.

Well, I wonder no more.

These two cats used to be fixtures in this yard...until we moved in. Our dog, who spends a lot of time guarding the house (read: sleeping in the yard), has kept them away for the last couple months.

The heat makes you do crazy things, I guess. And if the cats are drinking out of this pond, I'm sure other critters are, as well.

Thus, the moral dilemma is: To fill or not to fill.

Were this only a decorative pond -- and not a habitat -- filling it would be irresponsible. Because it is home to four helpless -- though, truthfully, decorative -- creatures, not filling it is even more irresponsible.

If parched wildlife also get to enjoy the benefits of my rule-breaking, well, that's just fine with me.


Anonymous said...

No moral dilemma, really.

The restrictions are only in place during some hours on some days. From the .pdf link -
"Hours of Restriction....
"Monday – Thursday, 5:00 PM until Midnight
Friday, 5:00 PM through Sunday, Midnight
All day on holidays"

So, yes the restriction is an inconvenience for 9-5ers weekdays and everyone on the weekend. Just put it on your list to check during the day on Monday and Thursday.

If more frequent or an evening hour fill was needed, maybe using a rain barrel or cistern that was filled during the ok hours would suffice.

Then again, maybe the cats are trying to drink the pond dry to achieve their true goal.

David W. Keelan said...

Also, consider putting a nylon fishing net over the pond. My neighbor has done this and saved not only his supply of water, his fish have been saved from critters, and in the autumn he doesn't have to pull leaves from the pond.

Hayduke said...

As a 9-5er, the restrictions make it hard for me to legally fill the pond, though I suppose I could do it in the morning before work (not likely) or after midnight (more likely, but only slightly so). Besides, this post was just a thinly-veiled justification for a deed that was already done.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe, as a self-proclaimed environmentalist, that you haven't gotten behind the Save Columbia's Decorative Fish movement. Without support from dedicated citizens like yourself, koi all over this unincorporated community will be in peril. For shame, Hayduke....I expected more from you.