Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Predator Spy Camera Installed

Santa Claus brought me a very unique gift for Christmas. He brought me a Moultrie MFH-DGS-100V2 Game Spy 100 Digital Camera. I mounted this nifty camera on a tree near the pond. The camera is motion activated and uses a flash at night. Ill work with it to find the best location to get good shots of predators visiting the pond. With luck, I'll get some interesting photos that I can post on the blog.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Birds Confirmed in Nest on Column

Today I saw the bird flying in and out of the nest on top of the front porch column. It is pretty bashful and won't hold still for the photos but I guess he is here for the duration of the winter. Maybe we will have some early spring babies to welcome the warmer weather in a few months. The plastic cone lower on the column is my attempt at a snake guard. I won't know until next summer if this keeps the snakes away from the nest since the snakes are hibernating for the winter.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fairy Dust Balls Join the Pond Scape

A gift from my son, three Fairy Dust Balls have joined the yellow-green and orange Humming Bird feeders hanging from the bare limbs of the tree. The Humming Bird feeders don't work very well as feeders but they do add some color to a very colorless time of year. The Fairy Dust Balls are suposed to absord energy from the sun and glow for a while after dark. Tomorrow they should get a good test as the weather man is calling for temperatures close to 70 degrees. In the near background are yellow and red twig dogwood trees. These two trees were also added to provide a little color in the winter. This afternoon I picked a bunch of leaves that had collected in the pond. Luckily the water temperature was 48 degrees up from 38 degrees at it's low a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Giant Elephant Ear Bulb

As I said this year I wasn't going to dig up all the Elephant Ear bulbs but I did dig up one and look at the size of that bulb. I will dry this bulb and store it in the garage for the winter. For the rest of the bulbs, I cut the dying leaves off close to ground level and mulched the plants heavily with leaves. Using dry leaves may not be the brightest idea since a bunch of the Elephant Ears are around the pond so if we get some wind, a bunch of the leaves may end up in the pond. That remains to be seen and I'm very interested in pushing the clock forward 5 months to see if the Elephant Ears survive the winter.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tadpoles From Under Ice

Good news! The tadpoles appear to be ok. I broke the half inch thick ice on the tadpoles pond again this morning. A couple of hours later when the sun was out, a mass of tadpoles came to the surface. They are very lethargic and didn't dive when I took the picture. Bit I think they were enjoying the sunshine and getting their fill of oxygen. I don't yet know how I'll keep the ice off if we have an extended cold spell so I will ponder that problem.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Almost Frozen Pond

The past several nights very cold temperatures have taken over and you can see some of the ice that formed last night. The water temperature this morning was 38 degrees which is down from 55 degrees last week. This week I had to remove the the last of our Water Hyacinths which provide great coverage and protection for the fish. The Water Hyacinths had finally turned almost black from the cold and were starting to deteriate. I decided to use some stryofoam pieces to make some floating structures to replace that protection offered by the plants. They are pretty ugly and jury is still out on how well they will work. But the fish seemed so exposed and I thought they would be easily seen by the various predators that visit the pond. This morning the temperature dropped to 18 degrees and the tadpole pond was completely frozen over with ice a half inch thick. If they are like fish, there must be an air hole to allow gasses to excape so I broke the ice into chunks. I hope the shock wave caused by breaking the ice didn't cause the tadpoles any discomfort.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Frog Enjoys the Warm Weather

Last week I caught 3 frogs enjoying the warm sunshine and temps in the 60's and 70's but only one frog stayed for the photo. Here he is snuggled in the plant which has lost almost all its greenery. He seems pretty comfortable in the leaves. He'll get a real shock tonight as the projected low temperature is 22 degrees. I had an interesting surprise yesterday when I noticed a bird in the nest on the top of our column. Apparently he failed to get the notice about flying south for the winter. I'll keep an eye out to see if he makes it his winter time home.