Building the Ponds and Streams

Here are a few photos taken at various stages of the construction.

Future Site of Lake Chloe

This photo was taken while digging the hole for the largest of the ponds, named for my Grand-daughter Chloe.  The landscape blocks will be removed and used for building the wall around the layout.  The excavated area behind the wall will be the location of Lake Tayler, named for another grand-daughter.  A waterfall will cascade from Lake Tayler into Lake Chloe.

Liner for Lake Chloe

The 30′ x 30′ EPDM liner has been draped into the hole dug for Lake Chloe.  It rests on a 30′ x 30′ sheet of geotextile fabic underlayment that protects it from any sharp rocks or roots in the hole.  The lowest point will be about four feet below the water surface.  The top edge is hanging over the waterfall area and extends into what will become Lake Tayler above the falls.  

Liner for Jocelyn Rapids

This is another view of the same liner shown in the previous photo, but looking up into the area that will become Jocelyn Rapids.   The rubber liner for the Jocelyn River will be draped over this liner.

Rocks Have Arrived

Here are some of the rocks I had delivered for the ponds and streams.  There were a total of eight pallets – each weighing a bit over 3000 pounds.  These rocks came from the Arkansas River.

Large Landscape Boulders

A couple of the pallets were large landscape boulders.  These rocks weigh between 300 and 500 pounds each.  They are sometimes called “moss rock.”  These rocks have a combination of true moss (the olive-green fuzzy coating) and lichen (the bluish-grey splotches.)

Lake Chloe After Being Filled for First Time

Here is what the pond looked like after being initially filled with water.  No plants or fish have yet been added.  The water is still crystal clear and you can see the rocks all the way down to the bottom.

Digging Lake Kamryn

Here are four of the grand-daughters (Chloe, Jocelyn, Tayler, and Kamryn) digging the hole for Lake Kamryn.  The original plan had only three ponds.  This summer, Kamryn came to visit for the first time and wanted a pond of her own.  The other three pitched in to help her build it.

Moving dirt

It’s amazing how quickly 9, 10, and 11 year-olds can work when they really want to do something.  They not only filled the cart — they pulled and pushed it to the dumping site as well. 

Using the Dirt on the Layout

All that I had to do was dump it for them.  I used the dirt to build up one of the areas where a new track was going in.  As soon as the cart was empty, they would run back to the pond site and start filling it up again.  I don’t remember ever having that much energy! 

Placing Rock in Jocelyn River

They really had fun building the stream beds.  Here Jocelyn and Chloe are placing various sized rocks and gravel into the area that will become the Jocelyn River. 

Kamryn Creek Bed

After they finished the hole for Lake Kamryn, they dug a river bed down to Lake Chloe.  The only thing I had to help them with was cutting some roots between the two oak trees.  They did have to dig up some of their Grandma’s daylilies and liropes, but she didn’t mind.  Those things grow like weeds here! 

Cooling Off While Lake Kamryn Fills

After we put the 15′ x 15′ liner into the hole for Lake Kamryn, we started filling it with water from the well.  The cold 60 degree water sure felt good on tired feet.  The girl on the left is one of the neighbors who looks forward to the visit from the grand-daughters each summer. 

Moving Rock for Lake Kamryn

Kamryn moved a lot of rocks to her new pond (with a little help from her friends.) 

Working on Lake Chloe

The girls were trying to catch a few fish from Lake Chloe to populate two of the upper ponds.  I had just replaced one of the skimmers with a newer model.  The old one (sitting  on the ground by the low retaining wall) had developed a leak around the inlet pipe from the bottom drain.  I am back filling the dirt around the 2″ pipe that runs up to the filter at the head of Lake Taylor.  At the left of the photo you can see the 1 1/2″ pipe coming up out of the pond from the pump that feeds Lake Kamryn.  It runs along side of Kamryn Creek and will be hidden under dirt and rocks when we are finished. 

Rebuilding Lake Jocelyn

Last summer, when we first built Lake Jocelyn, we used a pre-formed plastic liner.  This year we dug it out and replaced it with a EPDM liner like we used in the other ponds and streams.  Here are the girls and I sitting in the hole before we put in the new liner. 

New Liner in Lake Jocelyn

They waited patiently for the pond to fill so they could start placing rock around it.  You can see the homemade mechanical filter (with the top cover removed) at the head of the pond.  A 2″ line brings water up from Lake Chloe and feeds it out through two 1 1/2″ pipes into the pond.  The filter box contains sheets of furnace-filter material. 

Moving Rock for Jocelyn River

They used the shop-vac to clean out any dirt that had accumulated on the liner during the construction. After the pond filled up and started flowing down the Jocelyn River, they placed the rocks around the pond and along the riverbed.  That’s me sitting there doing what I do best — sitting!   

Moving Rocks

I think moving rocks is a chore.  To the girls — it’s a game!


Kamryn Creek

Here is a view of Kamryn Creek with most of the rocks in place.  Just a bit more to do, then trim and hide the liner, and it will be done.  The last six or eight feet of the creek before it enters Lake Chloe is fairly steep.  Kamryn decided to call this area “Crazy Kamryn’s Downfall.” 

Jocelyn River

Here is the view looking across Lake Chloe up the Jocelyn River after the plants and fish were added.  The river drops sharply into the pond in the area called Jocelyn Rapids. 

Lake Kamryn

Here is the view from above Lake Kamryn looking down Kamryn Creek. 

Lake Tayler (with Lake Chloe below)

This is the view from above Lake Tayler looking over the edge of Tayler Falls down into Lake Chloe. 

Lake Jocelyn

Here is Lake Jocelyn nearing completion.  The liner has been trimmed, but not yet tucked under the rocks.  A few plants and fish have been added and the filter is functioning. 

Jocelyn Rapids into Lake Chloe

Here is an early-evening view looking down Jocelyn Rapids into Lake Chloe.  Tayler Falls is on the left, hidden behind the Japanese Maple and Kamryn Creek enters the lake at the top of the photo. 

Rocks Behind Lake Chloe with Taylor Falls in Background

Here are some of the landscape boulders and plants behind Lake Chloe.  Jocelyn Rapids enters from the bottom left and Tayler Falls is at the top. 

Plants and Fish in Lake Chloe

Another view of Lake Chloe showing some of the fish and water plants with Tayler Falls at the top right.

Jocelyn River at Night

Here is the view looking across Lake Chloe up the Jocelyn River at night.  All of the lighting is from LED fixtures around the ponds and streams.

Tayler Falls at Night

Here is the view of Tayler Falls taken from about the same spot as the previous photo.