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Thread: An Isaan Pond

  1. #51
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    I also helped nature along by stocking some local wildlife myself, but not with resounding success.

    The Flower Market in central Korat, not far from the Ya Mo monument, has terrapins for sale. These poor creatures are kept stacked on top of each other in buckets, with no water and in baking hot conditions. My understanding is that you buy them to release them back to the wild, thus making merit. It would seem more 'Buddhist' to me not to capture the poor buggers in the first place, but I guess that's another issue. Anyway, I bought a bunch of terrapins and much to he consternation of our dogs, I brought them home for the pond.



    We set them loose and off they rushed to the pond...



    Well, that was the plan, but most of them just sat there. And much to my annoyance a few even faced the wrong way and started walking away from the pond. One even had a seizure and died there and then, before tasting its new found freedom. I told my daughter he was just having a nap.

    The wife and nipper eventually 'coaxed' them down to the water...



    Until... success!!!



    I believe these are (were) 'rice paddy' terrapins. I asked the local experts what they eat, but no-one seemed to know. I'm constantly amazed at how little the average Thai, even in rural areas, knows about their wildlife. But anyway, a Google search indicated snails so I also liberated a few bags of snails (also on sale at the market) into the pond. I also left morning glory around the margins of the pond in case the terrapins were vegetarian and ate that - this is what Korat zoo seems to feed a lot of its terrapins on.

    Over the next few days every one of the terrapins died. I was finding so many dead terrapins I could have started a business making novelty ashtrays. I don't know why they all died, but I'm not going to do that again. I think they were in such poor condition that they were doomed before they even left the market. I guess most people 'liberate' them to the nearest pond or rice paddy and don't see the long term consequences.

    Next to the terrapins, the market also sells bags of frogs, six to each bag. I think these guys are also designed to be released back to the wild to 'make merit'. The frogs designed for dinner seem to be sold in a different area of the market.

    So, I also bought a bag of frogs to release in the pond thus increasing my chances of a good reincarnation. My young helper encouraged them into the pond (couldn't risk the wife getting involved for this as they'd end up in the pot).



    Things didn't go quite to plan, at least for this guy. I think he may have preferred the wife's cooking pot option.



    Curiosity got the better of me...



    A nice chequered keelback - only doing his thing so I let him stay. The frog was well past resuscitation.

    No sign of the other five frogs either... don't know what that means for my merit stakes... ?
    Last edited by Mendip; 12-10-2019 at 03:47 AM.

  2. #52
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    One more little job I had to do back then... if you keep catfish in a tank, put a lid on it.

    These guys jump out, and whereas a few lucky ones probably made it to the pond, many became desiccated en-route and ended up as chicken food.

    Nice welding, hey Baldrick?!!


  3. #53
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    While I was pondering (pun intended) what to do with the muddy swamp I'd created, I pressed on with other stuff. Looking back I reckon I was just finding things to do - Isaan and all that.

    The concrete footings for the barbecue had remained untouched for some time, so this was first.



    And just before completion. For some reason I didn't take a photo a couple of hours later when it was finished. The brick laying was perfect by the way, any imperfections were deliberate to give a 'rustic' look.



    And what pond area would be complete without a snake house. Built to my own patented specifications.






  4. #54
    I'm not in jail...3-2-1. Jack meoff's Avatar
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    Too many overlooking neighbours and muts.

  5. #55
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    The house behind the snake house is empty, an old woman lived there before but she seems to gave gone.

    Since these photos there's been more houses built. In a perfect world mate I'd live in the middle of no-where, with
    no neighbours for miles and with loads of land. Can't do that with my daughter at school and a wife that likes civilisation...
    .

  6. #56
    I'm not in jail...3-2-1. Jack meoff's Avatar
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    You have a very good place there Mendip.

  7. #57
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    Thanks mate. Pop in if you like on the way to Khon Kaen. I'll cook you a nice quiche!

  8. #58
    I'm not in jail...3-2-1. Jack meoff's Avatar
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    Gratis
    I is up that way between New Year until the 15th Jan?

  9. #59
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    We go back to Somerset for Christmas, get back 6th Jan!

    I'll get a bottle of Ya Dong in!

  10. #60
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    Deal.

  11. #61
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    If I get delayed you can share it with the gardener. Just don't lie on yer back!

  12. #62
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    Cow Chai.

  13. #63
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    and a wife that likes civilisation....
    You realise that's a subjective opinion when domiciled in Isaan

  14. #64
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    ^ Yeah, it's all relative, I guess!

    Anyway, while we're living on the outskirts of Korat I've done my best to bring the 'rural' life to us, rather than the other way round.

    After two years of living with a muddy swamp I finally decided to do something about it. It became obvious that the 'pond' was never going to fill, and to be honest why would it? There was no reason it would ever fill higher than the water table, which it had just penetrated. Apart from immediately after heavy rain the water level remained at maybe 18 inches. I should have known this, and can't believe I listened to all the local advice despite my reservations. One good thing that came out of this was that my wife finally realised what a complete bunch of fukwits her friends are.

    The only option was to line the pond. So first, a clearance of all the carefully planted vegetation.



    Then it was drained. All existing fish, frogs and crabs were transferred temporarily to my wife's catfish tank.



    Sand was added to help dry out the soil and smooth the contours.



    Which was all fascinating for the gang.



    Last edited by Mendip; 14-10-2019 at 02:24 AM.

  15. #65
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    Once the water was confined to a couple of sumps, a layer of plastic was laid down.



    A nest of rebar was installed on the plastic in preparation of the concrete pour. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any photos of either the rebar installation or the subsequent concrete pour. But anyway, the day after and our new pond with a 4 inch reinforced concrete base...



    And from the other end...



    At this point I nearly decided to make a skateboard park instead. But I'm way too old for that kind of thing so instead in went some steps to support plant pots and the wife's request of a jetty was started.



    After more than two years from first breaking ground, things were finally starting to take shape.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post




    Things didn't go quite to plan, at least for this guy. I think he may have preferred the wife's cooking pot option.



    Curiosity got the better of me...



    A nice chequered keelback - only doing his thing so I let him stay. The frog was well past resuscitation.

    No sign of the other five frogs either... don't know what that means for my merit stakes... ?
    Is your gaff backing onto fields? I was looking at the rest of your pics and it seems that you have land behind the house, hence the sa-nake.

  17. #67
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    ^^ Out of greens ... looking great

    ---

    Our salsa at the farm is over the pond.

    My fondest memories have been spent there.

  18. #68
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    It is looking good so far, I can't wait to see what it looks like now. I wouldlove to do something similiar but my missus has a worry about the safety of ponds. I think it is because she never learnt to swim.
    Keep posting I really enjoy seeing your pictures here but I never understand why I can't see them without logging on.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    Is your gaff backing onto fields? I was looking at the rest of your pics and it seems that you have land behind the house, hence the sa-nake.
    There is a lot of vacant land surrounding us, most of which has been sold as residential plots and the area is gradually getting more developed. Every year another house or two gets built but as far as I#m concerned the slower the area develops the better. We used to get loads of snakes but not so many now - they seem to be disappearing as more people move in. I like to see the snakes and have no problem with them, apart from the one that bit my daughter's foot earlier this year. I could do without the pit vipers.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    Mendip
    It is looking good so far, I can't wait to see what it looks like now. I wouldlove to do something similiar but my missus has a worry about the safety of ponds. I think it is because she never learnt to swim.
    Keep posting I really enjoy seeing your pictures here but I never understand why I can't see them without logging on.
    We've got a young daughter and have always treated the pond the same as the pool and it's completely segregated by a wall and access gate - more strictly so a few years ago while the nipper was small. She was swimming by two and a half which made things a lot easier.

    Someone else mentioned that about my pictures. When I joined Teakdoor the only way I could work out how to post pictures was to upload them to a gallery and then copy the 'BB Code' into a post and I've just stuck with that method ever since. Maybe that's why you have to log in to see the pics?

    I'm open to changing method if it's better for people?

  21. #71
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    Insert Image from your PC with help of the menu - icon with the tree. Then open the thumbnail, use Ctrl-C and paste with Ctrl-V instead of the previous thumbnail.

  22. #72
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    ^Sorry, it's not exactly so: after the thumbnail open Go Advance, then after opening the thumbnail use right click C, then paste it.

  23. #73
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    Thanks Klondyke, I will maybe try that method on a new thread. Reckon it's best to keep it all the same for this one.

    Here's another for Hallelujah (and that's not easy to spell). This guy turned up between clearing the pond and pouring the concrete , and was probably disappointed to find all the water gone. This is another chequered keelback but I've never seen one before or since with so much red colour. We still get lots of these. This pic was from back in early 2014 and last winter (2017/2018) we must have had around ten of these keelbacks in the pond area, most of which I took to Korat zoo. They must like water. I've read somewhere that you only see one in every ten snakes, so it makes you think.



    While I'm on the subject, simultaneous with the pond works I continued with the snake house in the corner. I found it strangely therapeutic to occasionally sit on my own and put on a course of bricks now and again.


  24. #74
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    But back to the main event.

    I laid a layer of sand followed by a layer of gravel across the bottom of the pond, which I read somewhere would help little beasties populate the pond bed and help filter the fish shit. I also put in various broken plant pots and pieces of pipe to make homes for the fish. When we drained the pond before installing the concrete we found a big eel and I'm sure they would love to live in an upturned plant pot.



    And the new inlet for the waterfall. I covered the pipe with gravel for protection.


  25. #75
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    And finally, the grand water turning on ceremony!

    I was a bit pissed off about this. I had a special event planned for the grand 'water turn on', for a bit of fun for my little girl. But while I went up to the house to get a bottle of Leo to make the toast, the bladdy builders had turned on the hose. No sense of occasion.

    Anyway, the hose was on and the pond started to fill!



    After a couple of hours we had maybe 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pond and it was getting boring. To speed things up a bit we organised a few tankers of water. I haven't got a lot of patience.



    To be honest it still wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped watching the pond fill up.

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