­Many of my posts about the pond or as I like to call it, the aquatic ecosystem, have been complaints about the system in crisis. It is true; this pond was built on an Indian Burial ground and feels cursed. But it has stabilized over the last few seasons. Today I decided to mount my iPhone to a pole and catch a glimpse of the ecosystem beneath the air water exchange. There was a lot to see.

A live shot in the pond at Mezzacello. Three generations of fish in one shot. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

I snapped the photo above using an iPhone mount on a paint roller pole with the 10 second timer on my iPhone. We’ve been toying with GoPros and iPhone video with great success. But I do not have the ability to quickly or easily share those on here. So this is literally a snapshot of the pond one meter beneath the surface, facing East. You can see the health of the system immediately. I do not want crystal clear water. I pull all of the ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and algae out of the pond through a system of biofilters. I love the way the photons refract through the water between the breaks in the aquatic plants above in rays. You can see the mature koi, the younger koi and goldfish, and a school of just hatched fry. The 800GPH pump that fuels the cleansing cycle in the biofilters. The culverts laid out on levels to give the fish and algae surfaces to hide in and grow on. The bubblers pumping 100GPH of molecular oxygen into the pond.

The view from the human perspective. Four ecosystems converging: human, insect, aquatic, plant life. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

The photo above is is how we usually experience the aquatic ecosystem at Mezzacello. It’s good to change your perspective occasionally. I have been building (and failing) towards this for three years. I am proud of it. I am also on the verge of modifying it to include more surface area for wetlands and expand the ecosystem and the types of life it will support a bit. Staying true to my mission of Grow, Maintain, Sustain, and Explain you can’t look at that photo of the water hyacinths and lettuce and NOT imagine the unseen world beneath it. #ProjectMartian will almost CERTAINLY require an aquatic ecosystem of some sort. So I stuck my phone  in there. I won’t be able to use the charger port until it dries out. You’re welcome. Stay curious friends.

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