A pond is a body of water smaller than a lake.
Some ponds are formed naturally, filled either by an underwater spring, melting snow or by rainwater – sometimes known as ‘dewponds’; other ponds are man-made.
There are two types of ponds, permanent and temporary also known as vernal ponds. Permanent ponds exist year-round while temporary dry up – usually in summer.
Ponds support a variety of animal and plant life, and are also used as recreational sites by people.
Ponds are ideal for plants. Because the sunlight is abundant all through the water, plant can grow from every location in a pond. Often, the surface of a pond will be almost entirely covered with pond-loving plants such as the water lily and other plants that need higher levels of sunlight or that need direct exposure to air.
Ponds are home to a diverse array of animals including water striders. The majority of creatures that live on a pond, however, are insects and amphibians. Spiders, crayfish, leeches, turtles and alligators live in ponds around the world. Ponds are also home to a variety of frog species and some fish, if the pond is stocked routinely. Animals such as deer often use natural ponds as a source of drinking water. Birds feed upon fish that live in ponds. Beavers find the still pond waters a good place to build their lodge.
For microscopic life such as bacteria and algae, a pond offers plenty of food and the sunlit water provides a suitable temperature for the microscopic cells to grow and divide.
Ponds are often a source of relaxation and recreation. In warmer times of the year, a pond’s edge can be a place where people picnic or rest outdoors. In the cold winter season of northern climates, ponds can freeze solid and host winter sports such as ice skating.
Ponds are used for the provision of fish and other wildlife including waterfowl, which is a source of food for humans.
There are various regional names for naturally occurring ponds. In Scotland, one of the terms is lochan, which may also apply to a large body of water such as a lake. In North American prairies, they may be termed playas.
In medieval times in Europe, it was typical for many monastery and castles (small, partly self-sufficient communities) to have fish ponds. These are still common in Europe and in East Asia (notably Japan), where koi may be kept.
During the last thirty years of his life, the main focus of Claude Monet’s artistic production was a series of about 250 oil paintings depicting the lily pond in his flower garden.
Famous Walden Pond is actually a lake. It was formed by retreating glaciers 10,000–12,000 years ago. Walden Pond is famous as the inspiration for the writings of Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). In his book Walden, Thoreau wrote about his two-year stay in a small cabin on the shores of the pond, and his reflections on nature have become well known.
Antonelli Pond, about 150 meters (500 feet) across and only about 1 meter (3.3 feet) deep, was artificially created 100 years ago in Santa Cruz, California and supports many bird species, deer, coyote and small wild animals.
Christian Pond is located in Grand Teton National Park in the US state of Wyoming. The pond is known for its diversity of waterfowl including the trumpeter swans which nest here. The pond is named after the original homesteader of the property, Charlie Christian.
Pete’s Pond was created by Pete Le Roux as the general manager of the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. It is intended to provide a place for wild animals to drink, away from poachers that roam the Limpopo River. A live-cam was installed at the pond by National Geographic with 24 hour online streaming at Wild Earth TV.
In the Barycz River Valley of southwestern Poland, there are approximately 285 fish ponds as part of a nature preserve to protect the area for waterfowl that breed there.