It seems that we have a third body of water at Roundrock. There is the old, stinky cattle pond. There is the evanescent lake. And there is this pretty little thing:
This is a low area below the dam, on the south side of the pecan plantation. In a past life it was the last bed of the dry creek that drained our Central Valley. After the dozer did all of the leveling work to create the pecan plantation, this low area was left so that it could drain off any “occasional” seepage from the dam. It has been a reliable body of water all spring and summer so far.
On our visit this week we found it full of frogs, and in past visits, of course, there were hundreds of tadpoles living in it. L and I saw a deer and her fawn drinking here once. And there are plenty of raccoon and opposum tracks in the mud ringing it.
As long as the lake has water in it — as long as the dam continues to leak — this pool will have water in it. I don’t really mind (aside from the leaky dam part) since this pool may be more accessible to the wild things given the close cover it has. And it’s pretty. You can’t really tell from this picture, but there are some stands of rushes growing at the far end. The slope of the hillside coming down to the water also gives it a nice look.
I’ve also seen this area completely dried up, though that is generally in winter. I’ve been tempted to dig it deeper to try to guarantee a standing pool, but I don’t think that would work. I don’t know how deep the gravel goes in our Central Valley, so I might merely be opening a new drain for the pool if I go any deeper with it. Also, I don’t think it is the holding capacity of the soil here that causes the pool to linger for as long as it does. I think, rather, it is the constant recharge of water from the lake above it that keeps it full.