Editor's Letter March/April 2020

 I love March. It’s a cool month, literally. It’s also the month I turn 65. I don’t know about you, but when I was about to turn 20, that milestone (extracting one from teenage times) seemed a lifetime from 30, which I didn’t think I’d make for some odd reason.

When 30 sped by, I didn’t think much about age after that. It’s funny, knocking on the door of 65, other than that ancient age of 30, I’ve never looked toward age as a goal in life.

I’m sort of doing that now.

The Queen and I have ten grandkids right now, with two more due this spring. Jonah will spring forward around Tax Day, while our fourth granddaughter, Hadley, will help us celebrate summer solstice in June. When I think about a dozen grandpeeps, it makes me think just how rich we really are. The oldest, Ethan, is 20, about to turn 21, in the Air Force, stationed in New Mexico for now. His brother is 15, and sister is 11. All the rest of the little darlings are 7 or younger. Actually, when the two newest show their faces, we’ll have two newborns, two two-year-old’s, a three, a four, a five, a six, and a seven-year old along with those three older ones.

Back during my reproductive years, it never dawned on me I’d be going to so many little people’s birthday parties, recitals, school functions, ball games, and have them crawling all over me like giggly little lizards when we can get them together on holidays.

65 is actually pretty good. Each and every one of those little darlings either have, or will soon, catch their first fish off our dock in the Swimming Pond, gather eggs from our chickens, pick vegetables from the garden, spend time with cousins in the tree house, or just run amok with parents on-point nearby. I especially like that “parent on-point” concept around LL,2. Try chasing umpteen little hoppers with quick feet. It’s like chasing cats.

Debbie and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone. It’s pretty cool to be us right now. We both feel a slight sense of urgency to slow down and enjoy those times with each other and all these kiddos as much as we can. It sort of makes me revel in the possibility of living a decade or two longer, just to see what happens.

I kind of know what will happen with them. They’ll grow up, go away, then come back and bring more with them, just like what’s happening to us right now.

Pond Boss is also family. You are part of that. When you read these words, you’re in our lives, and we are in yours, even if vicariously. When this ragtag magazine comes together each issue, I think about you. I think about family, the farm, the pond, your fish, how you make your living, how you retire and how you spend your time. I truly do. When you read these articles, I know some stuff won’t apply directly to you, but I also know a good part of it does. As our team puts each issue together, our goal is to provide at least a handful of nuggets you can actually use, while you learn about interesting things you may or may not ever see.

This issue has got some good nuggets, too. Otto fires up his bulldozer to school us on selective clearing of land near a lake. His wisdom is to be picky. Michael Gray finesses his way to fixing a leaky pond. He got a bit lucky, finding the leak. The trick was figuring out how to stop it effectively and efficiently. I got an email a few months ago from Harrison Davis, a young man who was in the landscaping business and was transitioning into the Pond Management business. He suggested we write an article about how landscape management can affect your pond. I fired an email right back at him, “Great idea, write it.” With a tiny bit of trepidation, he did, and you’ll read it right here, straight from a guy who’s been there. As a matter of fact, we’ve gotten several suggestions from readers telling us what you want to read about. Two of those stories are in this issue. Brian Hoffman has written a great primer about how to figure out if solar power is helpful with your pond, and how he uses it. An Indiana reader wanted to know how to fish an aerated lake. That’s one of this issue’s feature articles. There’s a real-world story about a family buying a new-to-them property with two formerly-managed, but neglected-for-a-decade ponds. Their learning curve is steep. Dr. Neal comes at winter-kill from a different direction, Eric West dug through scientific papers to help us grasp the concept of spawning suppression, and we have an article by Dr. Bruce Richards that tries to simplify Harmful Algae Blooms. I actually bounced his article off several other experts to make sure this complicated, often-boring, but brutally important concept can be digested by those who take the time to read about it. Dan V, as always, brings practical field knowledge to life with some wildlife management concepts many of us rarely think about, but need to. The Fish Professor coaches us through corrective stocking ideas. I found an article our late friend, Dr. Dave Willis, penned about the sequence of fish spawns. Dr. Boyd writes about black water, Birdman Mel brings spring birds to our yards, and we have all the other regular columns as well.

Oh, and we have room for at least four more people at the Institute of Higher Pondology in early April. See details in these pages.

Thanks for being a big part of our Pond Boss extended family. Enjoy these offerings and send your story suggestions. Seriously.

In the meantime, I have to run. My Facebook Live broadcast is an hour away, then I need to grab a grandchild from her dance lessons and ferry her home.

Fish on! 

A series dedicated to Bob Lusk's general musings about land, water and life.

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