Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Clematis and Pink Lady Slipper

 This is the best year for our Clematis next to the shed door yet.  The flower are huge and opening wide.  It is just gorgeous.  Too bad the display will only last about 2 weeks.  Meanwhile up in the woods our Pink Lady Slipper plants came back.  Unfortunately we didn't get as many as past years.  Maybe the cold winter had an effect on these interesting plants. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Caterpillars Are Out

 We have a tree in the back yard that attracts caterpillar nests and there are a bunch this year.  The nest have started spilling the caterpillars all over the yard.  But some seem attracted to a hanging flower pot sitting next to the shed.  In the first picture they are coating the top of the hook and the second they are massing on one side of the pot.  These things really creep out my wife.  Hope they finish their life cycle soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beautiful Kwanzan Cherry Tree

 If you look back two years, this Kwanzan Cherry tree was much smaller.  It has grown nicely in the past two years and is producing a wonderful display of flowers.  Meanwhile the Rhododendron we planted in a pot on the front patio rewarded us with a full covering of flowers.  The Rhododendrons planted next to the fence haven't bloomed yet.  The pot must have warmed much faster than the ground.  The other night we finally had frog night - about a month later than last year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wild Ferns Uncurl

 Another interesting springtime adventure involves the various wild ferns we have growing around the yard.  As they emerge from the ground, the leaves are all curled up.  They slowly uncurl exposing the leaves until they look like a normal fern leaf.  The first picture is a fern just starting to uncurl and the second is one that is almost done.  Very interesting plants.

Monday, April 13, 2015

May Apples Crop

 In the past week several bunches of May Apples have popped up around the yard.  It is interesting how bunches of these plants are scattered around the yard widely separated from each other.  Soon they will be sporting beautiful white flowers under the canopy of leaves above.  In the second picture you can just see the flower bud below the leaves.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Saucer Magnolia Blooms

 Our Saucer Magnolia are blooming again.  The color is quite lovely as spring starts.  This year after the blooms fade, I plan to remove the fence that has been keeping the deer out.  I hope the deer don't develop a taste for these plants.  They are supposed to be deer resistant.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

New Eggs in the Small Pond

 Yesterday I decided to clean leaves and algae from the ponds and there wasn't any problem in the large pond.  But I was surprised to see a bunch of frog eggs on the small pond so I couldn't clean out the leaves.  There were two different species of frog laying eggs.  In the first picture are strings of black eggs and the second shows more of a white coloration to the strings of eggs.  Soon we'll have a bunch of tiny tadpoles swimming in the pond.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Spring is Coming

 We have been waiting for spring for a long time.  I expected frog night yesterday but there was only one young couple who thought the time was right.  The problem is they were 30 feet from the pond and laying eggs in the yard just won't work.  Meanwhile today the Star Magnolia in the front is blooming like crazy.  The picture doesn't do the display justice.  When you look at it the flowers are so bright white and fresh that it is really impressive. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Daffodils Bloom

 A sign that spring is on the way appeared last week with the Daffodils behind the shed blooming.  They are normally our first indication of spring.  In warmer winters, they have bloomed as early as February.  The next sign will frog night at the pond but that takes several days of warm weather which we have not yet experienced.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Windows

 After years of thinking about replacing our windows, we finally did it.  These are on the back of the house overlooking our cisterns that collect water from the roof.  We use the water to take care of the plants all summer so we don't have to use the house water.  The new windows looks so nice I'm going to have to make the cisterns look better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Deer in the Snow

 As last weeks snow receded, a herd of deer wandered through the front yard.  Deer sightings this winter have been rare.  I guess the deer stay in the deeper woods during the winter so it was nice to see some of them are still around.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Possum and Squirrel

 Two more critters in the snow.  The first is a blurry Possum running in the front yard.  The second in a Squirrel who looks like he is ready for football season.  He is right there in a three point stance as if ready to run through the line.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Cats in the Snow

 I've had the camera out for three weeks taking pictures of creatures in the snow.  Several nights apart we captured pictures of neighborhood cats.  The first picture is a striped cat(at least I think it is a cat).  The second looks like a pure white cat.  He has the perfect camouflage for hunting in the snow.  Too bad they didn't walk by a little further from the camera so I could get a better picture. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Snow Blast Art

 Our outdoor furniture became snow art after all the snow a three days ago.  Three items on the table created a multi-level display after the snow ended.  And the dogs new black rubber water bowl was very interesting.  I guess since it was black rubber, it held the heat better than other stuff.  The snow melted as it fell into the bowl creating a seven inch hole in the snow.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snow Blast Cherry Tree

 Our small Cherry tree's branches were coated with snow but it is still standing tall.  Meanwhile the snow piled up on and beside the fence blocking the gate.  It will take some shoveling before we're able to open the gate.  The cold is continuing and though there has been a little melting, the snow hasn't gone anywhere.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow Blast Blanket

 Yesterday's snow storm created a winter wonderland with the 9 inches of snow.  The wet snow stuck to and coated everything it came into contact with.  We were lucky that the temperature rose to the mid 30s so much of the snow on the trees dropped off by late afternoon and we didn't have any large branches break off.  Unfortunately today's temperature may not even get to freezing so the snow isn't going anywhere for the next few days.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Blast Two

 Another blast of snow from Mother Nature.  This snow storm is even bigger than the one last week.  We have already had 7 inches and the snow is still coming down.  This weeks snow is much damper than last week so is sticking to everything.  Our Japanese Maples and other plants on the front porch are overloaded with snow.  The forecast is for the snow to continue for at least two more hours so maybe up to 10 inches total.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wicked Cold Weather

 The snow hasn't gone anywhere and it has been wicked cold getting down to almost zero this morning.  I don't think I've ever seen the pond this frozen before.  Luckily the aerator is keeping a hole in the ice for gasses to escape so the Goldfish should be ok come spring.  They are predicting some warmer weather and perhaps some rain this weekend which should prompt some thawing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Solar Panels After Sun

 After clearing as much snow as I could reach, mother nature came through with a partly cloudy sky.  The sun peaked in and out of the clouds for about 4 hours and the temperature rose to freezing.  That allowed the solar panels to get rid of the snow and take full advantage of what sun was available.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Solar Panels Fight the Snow

 After 4 to 6 inches of snow last night, the solar electric and solar water heater panels on the roof are covered with a bunch of snow.  I got my 8 foot ladder and swimming pool brush that can extend to about 20 feet and went to work.  The temperature was about 20 degrees but at least the wind wasn't blowing.  I wanted to get them cleared so the sun could complete the task if it came out as predicted.  The task takes about an hour and hurts arm and shoulder muscles a bunch.