I must confess that I have mixed feelings about cleaning the tank. I lost all the gambusias, pondweed, turtles, frogs, etc. I know they'll make a comeback, but I did love the tank ecosystem. Not to mention there's a huge pile of mud and a mess in general. While the tank will hold more water now, it may also evaporate faster without the pondweed. I think the pondweed keeps the water cooler. Well, it's done but I'm positive I'll never do it again. Another thought that occurred to me after the fact is that wind creates waves in the tank that damage the upper portion of the sides. Pondweed probably mitigated that a lot.
Here are some pictures Mac shot before I had given out. I spent most of my energy shoveling dirt from the edges to keep the loader bucket from damaging the tank walls.
The tank is cleaned out now, ready to be filled with rain runoff. The sooner the better. Normally after cleaning it I sweep it out, but it's 105° outside today. I have to save energy for priorities. Once it fills with muddy runoff it'll all look the same, whether swept out or not..
I'm hoping to go to Pine Canyon (in BBNP) tomorrow in search of butterflies, specifically Chisos Metalmark, Golden Banded-Skipper and Chisos Banded-Skipper. Mac is heading back to Houston. I'll miss having him around, but he'll be back in a few months if all goes as planned.