Illustrated Encyclopedia A Winner
In the past 25 years, Tim Matson has built and maintained ponds and wetlands near his home in Stafford, VT. But through his writing, Matson's aquaculture work transcends the bounds of New England to embrace ponds and pondmeisters coast-to-coast.
Matson's most recent book, "Earth Ponds A to Z: An Illustrated Encyclopedia" provides a ready reference that belongs on the shelf of any pond owner or builders. From A, for acid rain, through Z, for zooplankton, the author has defined and explained more than 200 terms associated with ponds.
The reader will find numerous pond elements, including landscaping, government sup- port, environmental issues, construction materials and structural features.
We applaud the author's emphasis on treading lightly, on using what Mother Nature has to offer. "The key to pond landscaping," Matson writes, "is to mimic nature." Hear, hear.
Better yet, more than 200 pond concepts have been capably illustrated by Frank Fretz. His art is especially informative when applied to cut-away views of what the eye can not normally see -- how a dam is constructed, the anatomy of a swimming beach, and the guts of a spillway pipe.
Indeed, Fretz' elegantly simple illustration of an aeration system is the best we've seen in depicting how a bottom diffuser functions and sends water bubbles upward through the water column. Manufacturers and distributors of aeration equipment would do well to contract Fretz for their marketing and advertising campaigns. The cut-away "ant farm" depiction of how the diffuser lies on the pond basin is crucial to the public understanding aeration, and it's a concept best explained with illustrations. Sadly, these visuals are all too often missing from promotional literature and brochures.
This is not to say Earth Ponds encyclopedia is the definitive scientific word on ponds and their construction. That would be painfully boring to read and impossible to lift. Rather, it is a thorough once-over in which the pond owner or wannabe can equip him or herself to ask better questions of the dirt contractor and pond consultant when conducting due diligence.
While Matson's "Earth Ponds A to Z" may not be the end-all book for pond owners, it's a smart place to start.
Earth Ponds A to Z (The Countryman Press, 22 pages) may be ordered through Pond Boss at $18.95, plus $3.05 s&h ($22 total, Texas residents must add $1.60 for sales tax). Mail to: Pond Boss, Inc., 310 Charlie Drive, Whitesboro, TX 76273. For the convenience of credit card, call Pond Boss at (903) 564-6144.
Reprinted with permission from Pond Boss Magazine.