Saturday, May 16, 2009

Digging the upper lake

Around 1970, Fessie decided to build a couple of catfish ponds. Although such ponds are quite commonplace now, back then they were somewhat of a novelty. Over in the Mississippi Delta, farmers were just beginning to convert their cotton farms into catfish farms, digging up the rich alluvial soil to create catfish ponds. Fessie had made several trips to the Delta visiting our family in the 1960s when we lived in Greenville, and apparently he noted the gradual conversion of several farms there. That must have been where he got the idea to build his own catfish ponds.

Pictured below are Beck and her daughter Jo Ann in the upper pond, after digging but before the water was added. What an exciting day it was! Jo Ann even wore her swimsuit for the occasion! A smaller pond was built just below this one, and it is closer to the Pennington house.

The ponds have provided many hours of entertainment for young and old. Both of my boys caught their first fish there, although by that time the catfish were pretty much gone and the pond was stocked with bass. The ponds have been home to ducks and geese, and both cows and goats have drank from its water. Fessie even streaked one day along the upper lake's levee, but that's a story for another day!

The bottom photo is more recent, taken in the early 80s, from the levee on the upper pond. You can see the log cabin in the background that we moved there in 1976 to take advantage of the lovely setting. That's also a story for another day.

1 comment:

Janice Tracy said...

Mona, the woods, the lake, and the cabin look so peaceful. Just as you said, it is truly a beautiful setting.