Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sweetflag Explodes After Winter

This year we left some plants in the pond over the winter and they survived and are much better for the experience. One of the pictures shows the Sweetflag as it appeared on Jan. 1st in the middle of winter and 4 months later the Sweetflag is in full bloom. The other plant we left in the pond is the spade plant (named for the shape of the leaves) which also did great. It never looked this good last summer so it must have enjoyed wintering in the pond.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Beautiful Silver Frog

Look at the beautiful silver frog snuggled up on the rail of the wrought iron fence. When I saw him, I thought it was a rock on the rail but on closer inspection he was a frog. I don't think I've seen a silver one before but to my suprise, I saw another one that same night on a chair in the back yard.
Nature continues to impress me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

HawkEye View and Amber Alert

Here is the view of the pondscape from the roof (today was gutter cleaning day) as the Hawk would see it when he flies in for lunch. The blue tubs have some baby goldfish in them to protect them from the big goldfish. We have issued an Amber Alert for the baby birdies because when I went to the workshop this morning they were gone and I can't believe they were old enough to fly off on their own. I am supicious that a black snake may have gotten them. I haven't seen any black snakes this year but last year a black snake cleaned out a birds nest in the front yard. He looked so proud of himself when I saw him up in the nest about 8 feet off the ground.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Baby Birds are Born

Wow! New life is poping out all over. The bird eggs in the workshop have hatched and it looks like we have 4 new baby birds. The picture doesn't do them justice with their very fine feathers but you can make out two of the beaks sticking up in the nest. Hope they like hardware because it is all around them. I do disturb momma bird every time I go to the workshop but if you build a house in a work zone, you have to expect some traffic. I hope the babies grow up fast and move into their own places so I can have the workshop back.

New Baby Fish Appear

I was very suprised yesterday to see about a half dozen newly born baby goldfish. These fish are very tiny about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and about as thin as tiny wire. I thought the goldfish wouldn't lay eggs until later in the spring. It should be fun to watch these little tots grow up.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Elephant Ears Planting Time

This weekend the Elephant Ears I dug up last November were planted again. Last year the plants were giant getting up to 6 feet tall with 2 to 3 foot leaves. The bulbs get bigger and bigger each year and this year they are huge.

I did spring cleaning of the pumps and filters and the water flow increased marketly. As the water temperature warms into the 60's and 70's the fish are getting more active. It's fun to see them dart to the surface, grab a bite of food and dive back under water splashing the water with their tail.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bullfrog is Back in Town

Last night I checked the pond at about 9 and a large bullfrog was sitting in the stream. To get an idea of size the rock in front of him are 6 inches long. The interesting thing was he was croaking to another frog in the waterfall basin. One would croak and then the other. I never saw the one in the waterfall but I suspect it was the giant bullfrog I encountered when cleaning the waterfall last fall. As I recall, he was even bigger than this guy. Put them together and you'd almost have dinner for two if you could eat frogs. They kept up the conversation all night long.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hundreds of Tadpoles Hatch

The results of the Frogs Gone Wild parties in March are in and there are hundreds of baby tadpoles swimming around in both the large and small ponds. These guys are so small they are hard to see being about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long with a head the size of the head of a pin. I suspect a number of them will be tiny morsels of food for the fish but we are looking forward to a crop of baby frogs. Last weekend I caught 4 of our bullfrog tadpoles for the friend who I provided I foster care for her fish. I'm happy to report, her pond is doing great and all the fish are enjoying their new home. She wanted some tadpoles to add to her pond's wildlife. These tadpoles are a year old and huge. They are 2 to 3 inches long with a head as big as a nickel. From what I have been able to understand, bullfrog tadpoles take 2 years to develop into frogs.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nature Intervention Needed

Big surprise last night. I went out to the workshop to pick up some trim we painted for the kitchen and a bird flew away. I didn't think too much about it as birds get in sometimes. But a little later, I was back in the shed to cut some more trim and the bird flew out again. I did some investigating and found a nest on one of the shelves where I store nuts, bolts and nails. In the nest were 5 eggs which the bird must be sitting on. It was hard to get a good picture as the nest is only open on the side but here it is.

Night Visitor at the Pond

It was dark about 7:30 last Saturday night when I peered out the window and turned on the pond lights. I was surprised to see a giant owl sitting on the side of the large pond. He looked around at me and then took off to the top of one of the light poles. He paused there a minute (time enough to call my wife so she could see him) and then acting somewhat frustrated by my interference flew into the woods. He must have been doing some night fishing at the pond. I can't tell if his fishing trip was successful but the spot where he was sitting was very wet. So it appears we have a hawk in the daytime and an owl at night and the shiny tape I put up to scare them is ineffective. On another note, I added a dozen Water Hyacnith and some duckweed to the pond. If all goes well the Water Hyacinth will start to grow and spread as the water temp gets warmer. When mature, they have purple flowers that add some color to the pond.