Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Greenhouse is Blooming

 Last week the plants in the greenhouse were blooming like crazy.  Especially exciting were the dozen blooms on the Walking Iris plants.  Those flowers are so delicate and only bloom for one day.  They are easy to grow but won't survive winter so they must be protected from the weather.  Soon we'll move them outside and refresh their soil in the pots.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rhododendron Bushes Behind Black Fence

 For a number of years we have been protecting our red Rhododendron bushes from the deer behind a green plastic fence.  Last fall we replaced that fence with a 5 foot tall black chain link fence.  I think the red flowers stand out against the black fence and the bushes are still well protected.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

New Yucca Flower and Tree Frog

 I noticed a new Yucca flower stalk emerging from the center of one of the large Yuccas in the front yard.  Upon a closer look just behind the flower stalk hugging one of the leaves was a tree frog.  We saw this a lot last summer where these frogs love to hang on these leaves.  It doesn't look like we will have as many flowers as last year but at least we are going to get one.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Azalea and Clematis Blooms

 Two Azaleas we planted several years ago produced a bunch of blooms this year.  Meanwhile over by the shed, one of our Clematis plants has very large blue flowers.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pink Lady Slipper Blooms

 Again this spring several Pink Lady Slippers have emerged from the leaves by the back fence.  Unlike last year, only one is producing the beautiful flower that makes such a dramatic display.  Last year we had at least three with flowers.  The second picture show two with their leaves but no flower stalk coming up.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Giant Owl Eating at the Pond Buffet

 For the past several weeks we noticed a large Owl hanging around the back yard in the daytime so I setup the camera at the pond.  Sure enough it only took a day or two before we got pictures of the Owl at the pond.  The first is a side view as he stood in front of the camera.  The second is him either landing or taking off in the pond.  We haven't seen him catch anything yet but it seems like we are seeing less frogs and fish.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Maple Trees Growing Taller and Fuller

 The two Maple trees we planted in pots on the front porch about 6 years ago continue to thrive.  They started as small 3 foot plants and are now about 9 feet tall and filling out nicely.  We transplanted them once from the original pot to one that wasn't falling apart and they handled that very well.  I love the bright red color in the spring.  The only problem we have is the squirrels love to nibble on them during the summer.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Midnight Cat Visit

 A couple of times last week, our dog went crazy sniffing around early in the morning so I set the camera by the deck.  Lo and behold a cute cat was visiting the yard in the middle of the night leaving his odor all around.  In the first picture, it appears the cat is posing for the camera.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Columbine Flower and Kwanzan Cherry

 In one of the planting beds, the Columbine flowers are blooming like crazy.  I think this is the biggest bunch of Columbine we have ever had.  This bed was created to plant several Hydrangea bushes which you can't see because of the Columbine.  As they grow they should become dominate.  Meanwhile on the other side of the yard the Kwanzan Cherry tree is in full bloom with intricate pink flowers.  Unfortunately we experience a freeze two days ago that has damaged the emerging Azalea flowers.  They are predicting another freeze this weekend so that may complete the killing of the Azaleas.  Keep you fingers crossed.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Easter Lily and Cherry Tree

 On Easter Sunday our Easter Lily blooms just started to open.  They are beautiful flowers with a wonderful fragrance we smell when in the kitchen.  Meanwhile in the back yard, our large Cherry tree is putting on an amazing display of white flowers.  And for a bonus this year, we are seeing a number of butterflies flying from flower to flower.  I think this is early for the butterflies so we should be able to enjoy them much longer this year.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Stunning Valentine Amaryllis Flowers

 This year I wanted to get my wife an Amaryllis plant for Valentine's Day.  Around here those don't seem to be available except at Christmas.  I had all but given up when I found one on February 13th at Food Lion.  We planted it in the pot on the 14th and one month later it bloomed.  This is a special Amaryllis with the four large flowers on the tall flower stalk and one flower just above the top of the bulb.  I was lucky to get exactly what I wanted for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beautiful Spring Flowers

 Early last week some spring flowers came to life after months of winter.  The Daffodils in the back are gorgeous and abundant this year.  My wife thinks it is one of the best years yet.  At the same time our Saucer Magnolias we planted in the front yard three years ago are growing larger and producing more flowers every year.  The one in the foreground started blooming a week before the other for some reason which is why the flower colors are slightly different.  The more the flowers open the more white shows from the inside petals.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Young Deer in the Snow

 After the snow stopped this young deer walked across the front yard and a couple of minutes later he returned to nibble on the Azalea bush.  This deer looks like he was just born last year so is only a year old.  We didn't see any other deer around so he must have moved away from his herd.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Loose Dogs in the Snow

 For the past month or so, we have seen two dogs wandering the woods around the house.  They have tags but won't let us get close enough to get any information.  It is possible their owner lets the run loose and they return home as they seem well cared for.  The other night during the snow storm, the camera snapped pictures of them at they wandered in the front yard.  It's great they are always together as they roam around. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow on Solar Panels

 For the second time this week, we have snow on the solar panels.  These pictures were taken after 5 hours of snow which totaled over three inches.  The snow continued for another 24 hours after these pictures.  Today the snow has stopped and I'll try to remove the snow from the panels and maybe Mother Nature will help if she can get the temperature above freezing and give us some sunshine.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

January Snow Storm

 After a rather mild December, we are having a second snow store this week and this is much bigger than the first one.  The ponds are almost iced over with the exception where the filters are moving water.  Reports are the temperature should rise above freezing today but right now it is in the 20s where it has been for several days.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Bright Red Maple Trees

 Our two Maple trees in pots on the front patio are producing some beautiful red leaves this year.  One is much fuller than the other but both look great.  Too bad the leaves on the top branches have fallen off already or the display would be even better.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas Cactus Blooms

 For the first time ever, we have a Christmas Cactus blooming.  We got the plant as a cutting a long time ago and for some reason it decided to bloom this year.  We've put it outside every year and brought it in before the first freeze and this year we were rewarded with some remarkable red flowers.

Monday, November 16, 2015

First Hard Freeze

 Just a couple of days after moving all the plants into the greenhouse, we had our first hard freeze of the season.  The beautiful Elephant Ears out front show how it only takes one night below freezing to make the leaves droop, sag and turn brown.  Pretty soon they will collapse to the ground and I'll cut them off.  Meanwhile the Croton got too large to come into the house this winter so it is banished to the unheated garage.  The garage can get below freezing if it is really cold so I suspect it won't survive but we won't count the survival instinct out until it is over.  Now I just have to remember to water it weekly.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Plants in the Greenhouses

 With winter approaching, it is time to move the plants into the greenhouses.  With the warmer November, we are about 2 weeks later than usual so the plants got some extra time to soak up sun and rain before the move.  The larger plants are in the large greenhouse where we hope they will survive.  Last winter was very cold and we lost a number of plants.  The pond plants and smaller plants are in the greenhouse on the deck next to the chimney.  Being sandwiched in the brick helps keep this greenhouse a little warmer.