Okay, so who would have guessed this was going to be so difficult? But my husband came home from work and said, "I'd never have guessed that I'd find you fishing in the pond!" But yes indeed. It's true. I was trying to catch the koi that had survived the winter.
There was so much sludge and moss they could just dive into it and hide. So I got out the handy dandy wet vac. :-) I McGeivered a system to run the water through the stream bed and then outside to the shop vac, so I could sit and wait for it to fill and then tip the thing over and watch the water pour down the side of the mountian, snailes and all.
I waited for a fish to come through, but luckily it didn't happen. When the water was lower, I was able to catch them pretty easily, if you call laying on my stomach on the cement floor easy. Luckily there is a lower pond and I just released them in there.
I sucked and sucked and sucked that pond down to the very deepest end and then slowly, carefully, lowered myself in. And it was slick---let me tell you. That rubber pond liner with moss on it was impossible to stand on.
I thought better of it, crawled out again and got out the sprayer on the hose. I sprayed the sides of the pond and sent the hairy green moss sailing down into the deep end with the sucker hose.
I carefully climed back down in and started scrubbing the edges. What I really needed was a toilet brush or something. I wasn't sure how good to clean it, ya know? I knew I had to have some moss and algae in there for the fish to nibble on. So I finally declared it clean enough.
I turned on the hose to fill the pond again and went outside to clean up the shop vac. What I found was a little disturbing. There, down the hill, throughout the garden was a blanket of fishy smelly sludge----a nice smell for every starving bear coming out of hybernation. There was nothing I could do about it.
I closed the patio door but it wouldn't latch. I turned the knob again and again. Nothing. I looked up and saw the remnants of a smudge mark from last summer's bear visit. Yes, the door pushed open from the outside. If I didn't fix it, I could wake up with a bear in my house. I set out trying to fix it, but I was just getting frustrated. I finally decided that if a bear really wanted to come in, he would anyway, a small little latch wouldn't matter.
A couple of days later I found out that a bear HAD come into the neighborhood that night. He smelled paint balls from the neighbor's paint ball guns. He chewed on those and left me alone.
Good news: the latch is now fixed!