Part of my love and hate relationship with our house in Greenwood was the pond in the backyard. As a child, I lived in Chicago, first an apartment (that I have one memory of) and then a house my parents owned in Libertyville Illinois. From there we moved to Student Housing in Bloomington Indiana (Hoosier Courts and Tulip Tree). All that time, and in fact all the way until I was a teenager, my grandparents had a house on Lake Ripley in Wisconsin. I was excited when we moved to Greenwood because now we would have a lake, pond in our backyard as well. That was the love portion of the relationship!
Then we got to see the wildlife that lived in the pond. The joy of hearing the frogs sing in the spring and summer. The wonder of watching the geese and they arrived en masse and spent the winter with us. The wonder of seeing a beaver family arrive in our little Nirvana and setup a family home. The cool reality of the beaver eating the tree we planted near the pond. Seeing how it chewed the tree down so to speak. All of this, the love phase of having a pond in my backyard.
My sons and daughter often went down with me to the pond. We could fish (there was bluegills and bass in the pond). But we always had to be careful. There were several large Alligator Snapping turtles in the pond. They are a little scary to be around at times. Finally, the reality of having to mow right down to the pond was pretty scary. One day as I was mowing as close to the pond as I could I also found another denizen of the water. A matrix Americans raised its head and then literally struck as the mower. I couldn’t do anything as I ran over the snake. I felt really bad about killing a creature that removed so many pests from around the pond. But having grown up around the common water snake, I also knew they were at best nasty creatures. The hate of the pond began with mowing.