For years I've thought about expanding the back porch deck. It's small, too small to do much of anything although that is where the grill is. So I decided to go ahead with it. I drew up some plans, bought the lumber, and started on the concrete footers. It was going to be done right too - no dropping treated posts in a hole and filling in with concrete - I calculated the diameter of the base necessary for each footer, poured in concrete to make an 8 inch thick pad, set in the sonotubes and filled them up, then set in the anchor bolts.
I was thinking about how I would make quick work of this, that is until I removed the stairs to the existing deck and looked at its construction more closely. The deck's attachment to the house is completely unsatisfactory (I'm being charitable here) and will cause problems later if left as it is. I don't want to attach an addition to an existing deck that is unsound. It has to come out. Good thing it's not much of a deck, it's the upper deck in the picture just off the back door. I'll have to be careful not to damage the wood, and two more footers need to be poured. And I thought I was finished with the digging!
Once the upper deck is finished it will roughly triple its area. It will be a nice place to grill or for company. I'm also hoping that some of the more skittish water birds, like the wood ducks, won't notice me if I sit quietly on the deck.
On another note the pond is the weediest it has ever been. Usually the aquatic vegetation is mostly gone by the start of July but not this year. This happened after the fish kill this winter, which I think is not a coincidence. Losing all the fish in even a small body of water completely upsets the balance. There is essentially no apex predator at the top of the food chain. It's heartening to see the sunfish and largemouth bass that I stocked this spring as fingerlings growing so quickly. Some of the bluegill are even showing some spawning behavior.
This is the upper end of the pond.