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NFC: Homeowners Association article on Pond restoration by RR

 On the Waterfront:
The Sutters Landing Ponds continue to carry on. For the first time in
many years frogs have begun to move into all our various ponds. Some
folks love em; some hate em but they are a sign of a healthier pond.
Frogs add music and needed diversity to our Ponds. Frogs as you may know
are the pond equivalent of a canary in a coalmine. They will not live in
pond that is full of chemicals, overly polluted or devoid of good
habitat. We are winning on all those fronts. Our Algae control team the
Mallard Ducks have increased to over 25 workers. They fly between the
ponds as it suites them and have again produced babies this spring. So we
are assured of another generation of Mallards in Sutters Landing.  As a
matter of fact our sister neighborhood Rosemont has begun to benefit from
our efforts as our ducks have begun to add their ponds to the buffet! In
another year or so our resident flock may very well be helping every pond
in Mile Run.  Now to win this fight we must stick with Mallard (wild
type) ducks. The white/off colored domestics do not like to eat algae but
prefer people food and will become a pest. So if we see a Domestic Duck
on our ponds we will be forced to remove it before it interbreeds with
our wild flock and causes a myriad of problems.
We have been adding algae eating fish to the Ponds and also due to the
duckweed removal efforts of Dave Bagley we have controlled the weeds on
the smallest of our ponds. The end result is cleaner, less weedy pond at
less expense. Thanks to the volunteer efforts of our residents we all
have a pond we can enjoy via fishing, a walk around, or just by sitting
on the shore and watching the Osprey, herons, ducks, egrets, frogs,
hawks, deer, turkeys and other wildlife use our for a visit, a drink, or
a meal. In the same vein of wildlife ,conservation and enjoyment  I
STRONGLY recommend folks leave their fertilizers, pesticides and
herbicides well within their yards. A hard rain can quickly wash all
those chemicals into our ponds and undo much of the natural pond care
efforts we are trying to do. Please try to keep everything at least 20
feet away from all the ponds.
Now for a word of caution about our ponds. As many of you know,
undeveloped woods surround Sutters landing. With the ongoing drought
Water Moccasins a highly venomous snake whose bite can be lethal have
been seen and removed on two separate occasions in the last 6 months.
Apparently these serpents are looking for food and water. While we
generally do not condone the killing of any snake, in this case we have
resorted to killing these snakes. Water Moccasins or Cotton Mouths are
Large Fat Bodied Snakes with Triangle shaped heads and are usually very
dark in color. Four feet is a common size. They are very aggressive, move
slowly and well frankly are rather fearless. So of you come across a
snake that roughly fits that description BACK OFF.  Do not initiate
contact with the snake. Call me Robert Rice at 337-9676 and I will come
and take care of it. Most of the snakes you will see around our ponds are
harmless. If you see a snake whose head is roughly the size of his body
he is generally harmless and would prefer to be left alone. Which is what
we all should do! If you see a suspect Water Moccasin Back Off and Speak
In conclusion I ask you the residents to take a little time this season
and visit the ponds, do a little fishing or bird watching or just take a
brisk walk around one of our greatest assets as residents here. It is
there for both the wildlife around us and us the homeowners. It is our
responsibility, our legacy and our challenge.

Robert Rice
NFC president

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