Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Egret Sculpture Loses One

Our Egret sculpture took a nasty spill today. In the photo, you can see one of the Egrets broken off its stand. When I got home tonight, the sculpture was laying on the ground with one Egret broken off. We don't know what caused the damage but I suspect our Great Dane puppy was running wild as Great Dane puppies do and hit the sculpture knocking it down. In Great Dane circles, they call this wild running "zoomies" and it can be dangerous. Imagine a 100 pound dog running 20 miles per hour hitting you and you can see the force would be enough to knock down the sculpture and break off a bird. The wildlife camera didn't get any pictures of anything other than the puppy but the camera wasn't aiming at the sculpture so we don't have any photo evidence. The other picture shows one of the Butterfly bushes sporting it's new haircut. It looks almost naked but should led to more flowers this summer.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cold Weather Report and Butcher the Butterfly Bushes

The stats are in and you can see from the chart that the temperature has been much colder this year compared to last year. The chart shows the high temperature for each day from Jan. 1 through Feb. 24. The average high for 2006 was 53 degrees and the average for 2007 was 48 degrees. A 5 degree colder average is a pretty big difference.

Today was the day to cut back the Butterfly bushes. A couple of years ago, we bought some bushes from an online nursery and received 10 free Butterfly bushes. 6 of the Butterfly bushes took off growing to 8 feet tall and attracting beautiful butterflies which were a joy to watch. Today we cut them back to about 3 feet with hopes they will bloom even better this year. The bushes we ordered, Prague Viburnum were planted outside the fence, turned out not to be deer resistant as we expected so they have been chewed back to the ground level the past two years. I suspect they won't even recover this summer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Best Blue Heron Picture Yet

I moved the camera closer and got the best photo yet of the Blue Heron that visits the pond every day. He or she is quite a beautiful bird. The camera took this photo at 11 am this morning.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Amaryllis Planting Time

I am anxious for spring so I got started. The 6 Amaryllis bulbs have been cooling their heels in the garage for about 4 months. Each fall, we unpot them, remove the leaves and most of the roots and store them in the garage so they can rest. Last week we noticed one was pushing up a flower so it must be time to plant. If all goes well we should have some beautiful flowers in about a month. The red flowers are a Cyclamen which is a Valentine's Day surprise. The weatherman said our month long cold snap should break tomorrow with highs in the 50's or 60's.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Egret Profiles for The Camera

Our daily visitor gave us a good side view of his head in this picture. Today I set the camera to take videos and got two videos of the bird, first walking away from the camera on this side of the pond and second walking across the end of the pond and starting down the other side. The videos aren't super sharp but they sure are cool. You can follow the link below to view them on Google Video.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Big Bird Moving North

This is really cool stuff. Today I got three pictures in squence of the Egret or Blue Heron walking from the back yard into the view of the camera. The first photo catches just the back of his head. The second most of his body with his head and neck extended like he is surveying the area. The third is a full back view where he is standing by the pond - probably getting ready for brunch since it is 11 am.
I don't have any photos after this so I don't know if he flew away but I guess he left.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sweetflag Blooms in the Garage

I stored some of the Sweetflag plants in the garage to insure they would survive the winter. To my surprise several of the plants have developed flowers, a spadix which juts out from the leaf. Kinda neat to have the Sweetflag blooming when it is so cold outside.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Frozen Tadpoles and The Egret Visits Again

Here are two great pictures of the Egret as he strolls at the shallow end of the large pond. It was bright and sunny about 1:45 this afternoon with the temperature about 42 degrees. It has been quite cold for the several weeks with the high temperature rarely getting above 40 degrees and lows in the teens or 20s. The past week we have seen the Egret several days but didn't get any pictures. Today we got lucky.
The tadpoles are having a really difficult time as their pond has seriously frozen over. With the sun, the edges thaw some and some tadpoles come to the edge to gulp some air. Today it melted enough for me to lift off the cap of ice which was an inch and a half thick. To my dismay (and probably theirs too) many tadpoles were frozen into this block of ice. A bunch of them were floating lifeless on the water but some where still alive. I moved the live ones I could catch to the small pond which doesn't freeze as easily.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wow! It is Cold!

The weatherman was right! It got cold. This morning the temperature was 11 degrees. This is the coldest day in 2 years - at least in this case Global Warming isn't working. Here are a couple of pictures of how the cold effects on the pond. This first photo shows some interesting ice sculptures of the water pouring out of a filter. This filter feeds the waterfall that flows into the river to the large pond. This morning, the river was frozen over but the water continued to flow under the covering ice into the pond. The other picture is of the shallow end of the large pond which gives a good view of the ice around the aerator. Today was quite sunny so by the time I got home the ice on the large pond had melted but the ice on the waterfall filter was still there. On another note, the tadpole pond was and still is completely frozen over. I hope the tadpoles are sleeping and will be ok when the ice melts. We should get a slight warming trend this week but more bitter cold next week.