Beaver hut. A nuance that could lead to loss of valuable trees.

Your pond was built and stocked by the book.  It was a fun, memorable time and fulfillment of a long-time dream.  But after a few years, there seems to be something missing.  If you’re having such feelings, stroll the shoreline, sit on the dock with a note pad, look, and listen for nuances projected by the pond.  The experience can provide answers to questions.

Bob defines nuance as–ebb and flow of pond life and understanding consequences of it.  He feels your pond sends signals.  It took him years to recognize the message. You just need to pause, observe, and interpret the message.  It may include inter-relationships of fish and how they live as a community.  It can be complexities of habitats and how plants or animals respond to them.  When identifying such features, you become proficient understanding consequences. Things become more predictable.  They help you foresee impending problems or success you didn’t imagine.


A few lotus pads can soon cover a large surface area of the pond.

Here’s an example.  Bob spotted a cattail leaf floating on a pond beside his home and went to investigate. Approaching the shoreline, he saw six or seven leaves.  Their roots were missing. Then, he noticed a small willow tree limb stripped of bark. It was his first sighting of beaver sign, but it was a very significantnuance.  He wasn’t too concerned since cattails and willows needed trimming, but he didn’t anticipate another consequence.  Most native trees surrounding the pond were hardwoods, not favorites of beaver.  A few years earlier, Bob transplanted a cottonwood beside the nearby garage.  It quickly grew to 25-feet on its way to providing nice shade–until the beaver toppled it.  More prompt response to beaver signs could have saved the cottonwood.

Here’s what this means to you.  If feeling there’s not much more you can do, increase your learning curve.  Invest more time deepening a valuable connection with the pond.  The pond will respond through nuances. If something bad develops, you’ll see it early, correct the condition, and prevent heavy damage.  If good, build on the success for greater productivity. When establishing a bond with the pond, you will recognize nuances.  When that occurs, you have reached the next level in pond management.


Don’t procrastinate controlling coontail vegetation. Grass carp may be a biological management option.