Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Crape Myrtle Haircut

 This past summer and fall one of our Crape Myrtle trees has grown tall enough to interfere with the sun on the solar panels so yesterday I cut it back.  The last time I trimmed it I cut it to 10 to 12 feet; this time I cut it to 5 to 6 feet.  It will be interesting to see what it looks like in the spring since I probably violated the rules for proper pruning.  In fact on the radio garden show this morning, a caller asked about pruning his Crape Myrtle and the host said to wait for the spring.  Oh well too late for me.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Cactus

 Last year was the first year our Christmas cactus bloomed and this year it is covered with flowers again.  We have had this plant for at least 10 years and it finally bloomed.  It is such a beautiful display but the picture doesn't do it justice.  Meanwhile our Poinsettia we bought this year is hanging out next to Santa.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Front Porch Squirrels

 With the lack of rain this fall, I put a pan of water out front for the birds.  I haven't gotten any pictures of the birds but the squirrels have been happy to pose for the camera.  As my wife says single squirrels are very cute but when you get 3 or more on the porch at the same time, they become rodents.  Sometimes our dog lays by the door just watching the squirrels but other he goes crazy barking.  We haven't figured out why some squirrels cause the barking and some don't.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Late Night Visitors

 I setup the camera on the front porch looking through the fence and captured pictures of some of our nighttime visitors.  The cat slipped right through the fence and came right up to the camera for a look.  The deer looked in from outside the fence.  Just look at those big ears.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hard Freeze Kicks Elephant Ears

 It is always a sad day when we get the first hard freeze as the beautiful Elephant Ears go from full leaf to droopy.  These Elephant Ears have been especially dramatic this year so it's even worse to see them fall.  I'm not planning to dig up the bulbs this year so it remains to be seen if they will come back next spring.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

100 Foot Oak Tree Dies

 Early in the spring, we noticed a 100 foot tall Oak tree wasn't leafing out as expected.  It only got leaves on about half of it's branches.  Finally two weeks ago, all the leaves died and we had to remove the tree as it could hit the house if it fell.  A crew of 6 men took 4 hours to cut the tree limb by limb from 100 feet to a short stump that is 4 feet in diameter.  They chipped up what they could and hauled away the rest.  Quite an impressive operation but we now have a big hole in our tree line.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Giant, Tall Elephant Ears

 The Elephant Ears around the Mimosa Tree are now over 8 feet tall with huge leaves.  In the first picture, you can see the giant stems coming out of the ground.  One of the interesting things about these is they were not planned.  There were some Elephant Ears around the Mimosa in it's old location.  We thought we pulled out all the Elephant Ear bulbs when moving the Mimosa but obviously we missed some and they have grown like crazy.  It must be the perfect location since none of our other Elephant Ears are this big.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Impressive Volunteer Plants

 Sometimes Mother Nature knows best.  The first picture is a Butterfly Bush that popped up in the garden behind the shed last year.  As you can see it has grown beautifully this year with a great shape and lots of flowers for the Butterflies.  The second picture shows the plants that popped up in one our potato pots after the potato harvest.  It appears we have a squash and some kind of melon trying to get a start.  Too bad it is so late in the season as I doubt they have time to produce any fruit.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Red Potato Harvest

 This year has been great for Red Potatoes.  We planted seed potatoes in four 20 gallon containers and are harvesting a great crop.  These are the potatoes from the third container .  It's quantity and quality are similar to containers one and two.  We are getting about five pounds of potatoes from each container.  Meanwhile the Orange flowers are blooming like crazy in front of the shed again.  They create a nice color display in front of the Elephant Ears.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hawk Grabs Frog for Lunch

 The camera captured a picture of a very bad day for a frog.  In the first picture is the Hawk flying over the pond with something in his left claws.  A few seconds later, he lands on the side of the pond and you can clearly see he has a frog in his claws.  I suspect he had just grabbed the frog off one of the pond rocks and stopped on the side to make sure he had a good grip before taking his catch to lunch.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Giant Turtle Assistance

 Last week we saw a large turtle up against the fence in a couple of different locations and it looked like he was trying to get to the stream on the other side.  It appeared he was having trouble finding the spot he crawled under the fence to get in the yard.  I picked him up and took him to the other side of the fence and he promptly starting crawling toward the stream.  He seemed pretty happy to be moving on.  I'm not what kind of turtle this is but it is about a foot long. 

Friday, July 08, 2016

Mimosa Tree & Elephant Ears

The Chocolate Chip Mimosa tree we moved to the middle of the front yard two years ago has taken on quite a sculptural appearance with long spreading branches.  The location has proven to be perfect for giant Elephant Ear plants to thrive.  They fit in nicely with the tall Mimosa and smaller plants around them.
But behind the tree a huge weed has also loves this location.  This week the weed will go so it doesn't compete with the Elephant Ears.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Some Fish are Still Here

We are pleased to report that some Goldfish are still swimming in the pond.  For the past couple of weeks we have seen the black and orange Goldfish hanging out under the filter.  He is hard to see with the rock almost on top but your can see some orange and his flowing tail in the water.  In addition to him, we have seen a several all black Goldfish swimming around.  We suspect these fish survived the predators because their dark coloring made them hard to see.  In addition to these fish, I saw a turtle about 6 inches long in the pond.  I don't know if the turtle was just visiting since I only saw him once or if it has taken up residence.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Lightning Strike Very Close

 Yesterday afternoon we had a violent thunderstorm pass through the area.  We were sitting in the dining room watching the downpour in the back yard when there was a sudden bright flash and immediate boom.  It sounded like a cannon was just outside.  After the storm we found a 100 foot tall Oak just behind the fence in the back yard had been hit by lightning.  A line of bark was blown off the tree from top to bottom with some pieces landing 50 feet away.  With luck the tree will survive but at least it has a slight tilt away from the fence so if it falls - hopefully it will follow that tilt.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bee Balm Joins Garden

 Last year a friend gave us some Bee Balm plants.  Thankfully they came back great this year, spread out and are showing off their color.  These plants are about 5 feet tall, topped with a crown like red flower.  We planted them in a spot where one of our Butterfly bushes was before it died in the rough winter. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Raccoon Mug Shot

 The Raccoon has been visiting the pond almost every night and recently he stopped to pose for a mug shot.  This is probably the best face picture I've gotten of the Raccoon.  Meanwhile, the next day a beautiful Cardinal stopped by to pose for the camera.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Plant Stealing Squirrel

A couple of weeks ago, we moved the Mexican Petunia plants from the greenhouse to the pond.  It didn't take long for a squirrel to bite off a branch for lunch and face the camera as if he was showing off.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Where Have All the Fish Gone???

 In April we saw an Owl hanging around the pond on multiple occasions.  In the past couple of weeks we haven't seen any Goldfish so I suspected the Owl may have cleaned out the pond.  Then a couple of nights ago, I got these two pictures.  Both the Owl and a Raccoon were visiting the pond the same night.  As such the lack of Goldfish might have been the result of several different predators.  It is sad as we had a bunch of large Goldfish and we had a number of floating rocks to offer protection.  Maybe some of the Goldfish are still hiding in the deep water.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Spring Flowers Continue

 Once again our late blooming Azalea is putting on quite a show.  This beautiful bush pushes branches on both sides of the fence and this year the deer have not eaten the outside part so it is blooming just as great as the inside.  Meanwhile at the back of the yard another of our Clematis plants is cascading purple flowers for four feet. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beautiful Louisiana Iris

 The remarkably beautiful Louisiana Iris flowers are blooming in the frog pond.  They created quite a display against the green leaves of the Sweet Flag and Spade Plants white flowers.