Photographer makes nature come to him with homemade wildlife pond

chimunk drinking water from pond

The following video by photographer Stefano Ianiro showcases just how photographic creativity can take many forms.

Wanting to capture some magnificent up-close shots of wildlife and having a handy piece of scrubby land at hand, he build his own DIY nature pond where nothing but dry grass and dusty dirt existed before.  

His effort even included his own roomy little photography hide for convenient shooting in a mini nature photographer’s paradise.

Ianiro had already previously built another pond on his property and in early 2022 decided to embark on a larger, more ambitious version of that previous project.

Thus, starting in March of 2022 during an early-spring warm spell, he got to work.

The photographer/DIY landscaper dug out a large space measuring roughly 20 feet by 12 feet and then dug down to a depth of about 4 feet at its deepest point.

Ianiro mentions in his video that he took this extra step to “help keep the water temperature more stable throughout the year”.

In his 15-minute video he also explains that he built this new pond with an emphasis on making it into a long-term refuge for the benefit of local wildlife, with wildflowers and other flora surrounding it:

“I built this wildlife pond to attract and to help out some of the local wildlife,” he adds

Once the pond was ready, he dug out a much smaller 3-foot hole along one of its shorter ends. Into this, he vertically placed pallets to create a simple photography blind that he then covered with camouflage netting. Ianiro even added a tiny raised garden bed to the blind.

The video goes into deep detail about the rest of his construction and planting process for surrounding flora.

This even included his seeding the entire surrounding landscape with over two dozen species of native wildflowers for an artificial meadow.

Ianiro also says, “I added some perches, brush piles, nest boxes, and dead-standing logs for birds and insects to use,”

He also mentions, “I even built this small floating structure with a bunch of willow cutting in it to help absorb nutrients and clean the water.”

The end result was a lush green and colorful landscape surrounding a body of water that was constantly being visited by wildlife within less than 100 days of being built.

The photographer could then get down to the more exciting part of this project: snapping telephotos and other shots of different animals throughout the seasons of the year.

The results speak for themselves if his subsequent YouTube video clips are anything to go by, and his Instagram shots.

Very soon after everything started to literally take root around his little body of water, warmer spring weather made the pond literally spring into life with a steady invasion by birds, flowers, insects and eventually larger animals.

These latter included squirrels, raccoons and at one point, a lost little kitten that the photographer and his girlfriend soon adopted after gaining its trust with persistent offerings of tuna.

 As spring moved into summer and then fall, the pond became a booming home for local birds and even turned into a place where many species began stopping for a break during their seasonal migrations.

Ianiro was able to keep capturing new shots throughout the year and summarizes his project nicely by explaining, “The more time I spent around the pond, the more this ecosystem seemed to become the healthy one I had envisioned,”

Further reflecting on this project, he elaborates, “It was incredibly rewarding to think about all the species I was able to attract and help throughout the past eight months.”

Both of the videos above are absolutely worth watching if you’re a nature photographer, and particularly if you’re fond of capturing birds.

This one creator’s DIY project is a wonderful inspiration for anyone looking for unique ways of creating photo opportunities instead of simply hunting for them.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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