Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Saucer Magnolia Blooms

 We planted two Saucer Magnolia trees last year and they just bloomed again.  The beautiful flowers are quite a contrast from the brown of winter.  Soon they should produce green leaves.  We hope they will grow fast and tall so we can remove the fence that keeps the deer away.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Baby Deer Growing Up

 About a year ago this beautiful deer was born and started wandering around our neighborhood.  We love watching this young deer grow up.  The young deer in the second picture is going to be a buck some day.  If you look close at his head, you can see the small bumps that will sport a nice set of antlers some day.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring Party Results

 Looking close in these pictures we see lots of chains of frog eggs.  Unfortunately, the next day the weather turned chilly again so the eggs are just laying there waiting for warmer water.  It is always fun to see the tiny baby frogs develop from the tadpoles.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Great Frog Spring Awakening

 We can always tell when spring in nearby when the frogs wake up from their winter sleep and party in the pond.  Due to the cold this winter, this annual awakening was two weeks later than normal.  We've been observing this phenomenon since 2006 and the earliest was in March 6, 2008 with the others between March 10 and 19.  Soon we'll see eggs all over the pond from this night of celebration. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

3 Heads and a Tail

Two weeks ago our camera captured some pictures of a herd of deer grazing in the front yard.  There were at least 14 deer nibbling on something in the yard.  I'm not sure what they are eating since the grass is still brown and new growth has not yet started. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Color Guard Yucca

 As a recognition that the deer are going to decide what we plant in the front yard, we replaced the two Elderberry bushes with two green and gold Yucca.   The Elderberry bushes were moved to the back yard inside the fence.  Our all green Yuccas are doing ok verses the deer so we are hopeful.  As insurance, we put some shaved Irish Spring Soap around the new plants.  Research indicated, the deer don't like that smell.  On the front porch, we replaced the Ligustrum with a Rhododendron.  The many flowers on the Ligustrum bush was attracting too many bees.  We hope that won't be the case with the Rhododendron.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

First Sign of Spring

 We finally had a couple of warm spring days and the Daffodils behind the shed responded with a beautiful display of spring.  These plants have been pushing up for a while but kept getting delayed by extreme cold and snow.  In warmer years we get this spread of flowers in February.  Now the prediction is more very cold weather later this week.  So we are keeping our fingers crossed that the flowers will survive.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Holly Tree in Front Yard

 This weekend, we decided to transplant a Holly tree from the woods in the back yard to the front yard as part of our make-over.  The decision was really made by all the deer roaming the neighborhood.  We have fenced most of the plants we placed in the front yard which somewhat protects them but the deer even nibble through the fence.  From our experience, one thing they won't eat is Holly so that tree should have a good chance.  The deer leave the spiky Yucca plants alone for the most part so we are considering planting more of those.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Midnight Takeoff

The other night our camera caught an interesting picture of what I think is an Owl taking off from the snowy pond. The Owl didn't stay long since only one picture was taken.  The camera is set to take three pictures with a short delay between each picture.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Hawk at the Frog Pond

 Our camera snapped a couple of pictures of the Hawk landing a standing at the frog pond.  When landing, the Hawk looks like he is on a mission with his claws extended and he beak open.  I'm not sure what creature in the pond is at the wrong place but i suspect it became lunch.  I think the Hawk has something in his claws in the second picture that he is enjoying.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Crape Myrtle Haircut

 Four and a half years ago, we planted four Crape Myrtle trees in the back yard.  They have grown like crazy getting at least 30 feet tall and were starting to shade the solar panels so time for a haircut.  It was a chore but they now are down to about 12 feet.  It will be interesting to see how they recover from this clipping.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wildlife Update

 The beautiful piebald deer born last spring continues to wander around the neighborhood.  Here is the deer following momma in our Sweet Shrub bush.  We are lucky to see the deer almost every week.  Meanwhile back at the pond is the Hawk.  He is never far from the Goldfish buffet.  Hopefully when spring arrives and the Goldfish wake up we'll still have a bunch of them in the pond.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ice on the Pond

 A couple of more pictures of from the cold winter that we've had this year.  A bunch of icicles hanging from the greenhouse grew when the sun was shining but the air temperature.  The little bit of melting dripped and formed the icicles.  And the pond was almost frozen over with just a small opening next to the filter.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Snow on the Solar Panels

 Starting in mid January we had a snow storm a week for three weeks.  In addition to shoveling the snow off the decks, sidewalks and driveway, I clean it off the solar panels.  It takes about an hour using a 16 foot long swimming pool brush to sweep off the snow.  The three sets of panels include solar electric, solar water heating and a small off grid electric system.  If I wait for mother nature to clean the panels, I could be waiting a week and during that time no solar production.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nighttime Deer

 I set the camera up behind the wrought iron fence and a couple of deer wandered by last night.  Not the clearest pictures but you can see the Buck is growing a nice set of antlers.  His wandering  companion came up close to the camera.  Maybe in response to the flash when the Buck got caught or maybe to chow down on some juicy grass by the fence.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Orange and Grapefruit Trees

 Again this year, we are moving the citrus trees close to the house for a tiny bit of protection from the cold weather.  I'm thinking of building a temporary lean to for additional protection.  Last year was the first year we tried this plan for the citrus trees and most survived the winter.  We'll know the results in about six months.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Open Up The Greenhouse

 After the surprise early frost a week ago, I figured it was time to move our frost sensitive plants into the greenhouse.  A couple of Pineapples and a lonely Banana plant were first into the greenhouse.  Those were surrounded by various palms, citrus and other plants that wouldn't survive the  winter outside.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

 Got a picture of a squirrel on the back deck with a giant nut in his mouth.  That nut is almost as big as his head.  We don't have a tree near by that drops those nuts so he carried it a long way.  In the second picture a squirrel is digging in one of the pots we used to grow tomatoes this year.  I don't know if he was trying to dig up a something or burying a something.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Early Frost

 Our first frost came early this year.  Usually we don't see it until after the first of November.  The first picture shows the very sad Elephant Ears in the front yard.  The leaves are brown and curled up.  Meanwhile the Elephant Ears on the side still look great.  The brick wall protected them and perhaps kept the temperature from dropping quite as low. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Going Going Gone

 The pond is empty and the liner is removed.  When we emptied the pond, we moved three Goldfish and seven Frogs to the large pond.  Hopefully they will like their new accommodations.  We filled it with 7 wheelbarrows full of dirt.  We plant to use it as a planting area for the next year.  If that doesn't work, we'll extend the patio.