Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Wicked Wind Blow Through

Saturday while I was at a football game for about 4 hours, some wicked winds blew through the pond area. A bunch of the plants were knocked over both in and out of the pond. The bamboo poles the Owl likes to sit on were also blown over. In addition some plants were blown into the waterfall diverting the water so the pond lost 4 inches of water in the short period of time I was away. And now the beautiful clean pond is cluttered with leaves.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What a Way to Go

With the weather getting colder, we've noticed something very interesting. In the past 2 weeks we have seen a number of large bees either hibernating or dead (I suspect the latter) hanging on to the Butterfly Bush flowers. I guess they wanted one last good drink of nectar before they die at the end of the season. They drink until they can't drink any more and then just go to sleep.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Little Maple Tree

Two years ago when we built the large pond, we decided we needed more shade on our deck. We searched through the wooded part of our lot and found a cute little Maple tree about 4 feet tall. We marked it to move later. In December 04 the tree was bare and we dug it up and moved it near the deck. As you can see the tree has done very well since then, It is now 12 feet tall and the branches are spreading nicely. If it grows at the same rate next year, we should see the benefit of some shade on the deck.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

100 Posts and Counting

This is post number 101. When I started about 59 weeks ago, my goal was to have one post a week so I got it done. I realized today that I never posted the final picture of the large pond after cleaning so here it is. All is well in the pond and I learned the goldfish aren't as delicate as I thought they were. Both large pond and small pond residents survived the cleaning without a problem. It was nice to see an old friend, Grill Frog, who joined us for dinner for the first time in 3 months. Luckily he didn't move from the front panel which stays cool while cooking the steaks. In addition to the steaks, we had shrimp cocktail and baked potatoes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Elephant Ears Are Smoking

I was witness to a very neat phenomonum this weekend. We were a bit worried for the plants when the outside temperature dropped under 40 degrees the past couple of nights. But an interesting site welcomed me in the morning. Our elephant ears were heavily coated with dew and then the sun came up. When the sun focused directly on one elephant ear leaf, the dew was evaporating forming a column of what looked like smoke poring off the leaf. This continued for quite a while and was quite facinating. Thankfully the temperature didn't hit freezing as that would have caused the elephant ears to droop and die.

Clean the Small Pond

Today I decided to clean the small pond and count the wildlife living there. Remember in the spring on June 18th, we had a major fish kill in the small pond so we scrubbed it from top to bottom. We then repopulated the small pond with 30 gold fish born about 4 weeks earlier. It is great to report that 28 of those fish are still swimming in the small pond and now 4 months later they are up to 4 inches long. You can see some of the beautiful fish in the picture though it doesn't do them justice. In addition to the fish, we disturbed 7 medium size frogs and at the bottom was a giant bullfrog that had already begun his hibernation. I didn't want to bother him too much so we left about and inch of old water in the bottom. This is a large population of wildlife for a 90 gallon pond.

The large pond still looks good although I did have to turn on the ultraviolet filter a couple of days after cleaning to reduce the green algae that was attracted to the clean water. The nights have been pretty cold since the cleaning so the fish are not very active and are not eating much food at all. Still no dead fish so my concern that the shock of the cleaning the pond would be too much for some was unnecessary. We have about another month before the real cold starts to enter our area.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Clean the Waterfall

The last step in the pond cleaning was to clean the waterfall. Here is the before photo. In taking apart the waterfall reservoir, I distrubed several frogs but not like last year when I found one of the giant bullfrogs in the waterfall. This year he is happily living in the large pond. In the second photo the waterfall is clean.

Finally the waterfall is clean and the water is flowing. A long day is finished but the result is very good. The rocks are clean and the water is sparkling and I think the fish and frogs are living well. I did see the Owl last night surveying the newly cleaned environment and he seemed pleased with the result.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Gone Fishing

Of course part of cleaning the pond is catching all the fish and frogs and relocating them to the temporary pond. Here my wife and I are matching wits with the fish. It did get easier as the pond drained and we took the opportunity to get an accurate count of the wildlife. The final count was 112 goldfish which ranged in size from 2 inches to 12 inches. We had 4 that were about 12 inches long that are from the original ten 4 inch fish we started with 2 years. The 2 inch fish were probably born earlier this year. As for the frogs, there were 8 average size frogs and 2 giant bullfrogs. In addition we captured 3 salamanders.

In the last picture is one of the medium size goldfish that made up the bulk of the population. All the fish and frogs made it to the temporary pond without incident and 7 hours later they made the move back to the clean pond ok. I am very happy to report that the next morning all the fish were still alive and kicking. But now another worry the water is so clear that the owl and hawk will have a clear view of their prey.