this trip was mostly about getting the pool ready for the winter. the rushes and the underwater plants have grown hugely; the rushes will die off and need cutting down and removing to prevent all the nutrients they have sucked out of the water being returned and the underwater plants need cutting back regularly as they reach the pool surface.

the pool vacuum cleans the gunge off the bottom, any stones get dropped into the milk churn before they get to the vacuum blades. we ran it off the generator, just as well, it forced the generator to rev as it asked for more power; that would not have done my batteries any good.

we are planning to install a solar pump in the spring, which will at last take the pressure off my solar system.

this is a very cold job, although we were lucky that the sun came out, after early rain.

this section has had the rushes cut leaving papyrus and a sedge type rush which don’t die off in the winter.

I made a huge heap of rush and pond plant, which will make fantastic compost when it rots down.

the underwater plants are cut with a scythe like a hammer head shark – a bobble at each end to protect the pond liner from the sharp blade.

no sharks in my pond, but this salamander is doing well. they are huge, can grow to 30 cm. he is Pleuredeles Waiti, a Sharp Ribbed Salamander

a line of orange warts along his ribs. in the summer he could be seen lurking on the bottom of the pond, like a little dinosaur.