Let me start by saying that we don’t have a duck pond. We have a lake. Lake Champlain.
And although it pains me slightly to say it, we also don’t have any ducks. Not personally, at least. Lake Champlain, on the other hand, has plenty of ducks. And when the lake freezes and the ducks run out of water to swim and eat, we offer them a small “duck pond” in front of Rosslyn boathouse to tide them over until spring. Or at least that’s our current practice.
In the Beginning…
The origin of our “duck pond” is less duck-centric. When we purchased Rosslyn in the summer of 2006 the boathouse perilously teetering on a failing timber and stone crib. The whole peninsular folly was one ice flow away from the grave. In fact, all four buildings were suffering the advanced stages of disrepair. We had to prioritize our attentions that first winter, and the house won out. In the hopes of preserving the boathouse until we could begin rehabilitation, we purchased an Ice Eater to reduce ice damage. It was a long shot. But it worked. The Ice Eater agitated the water at the end of Rosslyn boathouse, preventing ice from forming. It also created a perfect refugee for the ducks. (And the hawks and eagles, but that story for another day…)
The following winter my bride (and many of our new neighbors) insisted that we install the Ice Eater again to ensure that the ducks would have open water. I obliged. Despite the fact that the boathouse now how a solid foundation and is [hopefully] less likely to succumb to ice damage, we continue to maintain a winter “duck pond” each year.
2015 Ice Eater Fail
Unfortunately in late January pack ice was blown into shore clogging the Ice Eater and eventually sheering both of the propeller blades that agitate the water to prevent freezing. Temperatures were bitterly cold and the lake froze sans “duck pond”. [Read more… and/or Watch video!]