Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Deer in the Daytime

Look at these great looking deer posing for the camera. They were part of a herd of at least six that moseyed by yesterday afternoon. They were stopping to munch on some of the new leaves the trees have sprouted recently but luckily they bypassed our Sweet Shrub this time.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Water Lily Growth Spurt & Giant Clematis Blooms

Last week I posted a photo of the Water Lily in the small pond, well here is the GrandDaddy Water Lily in the large pond. The leaves are much larger and a very different shape from the rounded leaves in the small pond. If they continue at this pace, they'll break the water surface this week and maybe I'll get a nice looking flower.
Below is a picture of the giant beautiful Clematis flowers that bloomed in the past week. Last year spring was pretty dry and the few blooms we had weren't as impressive as these. The plant has another dozen like these and a bunch of buds still to bloom.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Amaryllis Seeds Planted

Two weeks ago I posted a photo of the weird looking Amaryllis seed pods and here they are ready to drop their seeds. So I'm going to play Mother Nature by planting the seeds in the greenhouse. The seeds are about the size of a dime and very thin. In this photo the seeds are laying on the soil before I covered them with a fine layer of dirt. If I get really lucky, some of the seeds may grow and we could get bulbs that can produce flowers in three years.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Expert Wall Walking Frog

This is the first Green Tree Frog of the season. He takes wall walking to the next level defying gravity while easily moving around on vertical surfaces. When I first saw him, there were two frogs but by the time I went in for the camera, one had moved on leaving this guy to pose for a photo.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sweet Shrub Blooms While Tadpoles Mass

One of our favorite shrubs is in full bloom. The Sweet Shrub flowers produce a wonderful fragrance. In this photo there are two flowers fully open and two which will open in a day or two. The Sweet Shrub is behind the waterfall. It started outside but spread inside the fence over the past 5 years. It is a good thing it did because last year the deer decided Sweet Shrub was good to eat and decimated the bush outside the fence.
Below is a giant mass of tadpoles in the plant pond. Up close, it looks like a feeding frenzy, which it is because I threw in so pond fish food and they loved it. So I guess I'll add them to the feeding schedule.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Deer Finally Pose for the Camera

I have been trying for at least the last month to get a picture of some of the deer that roam around every day. I've tried locating the wildlife camera in many different locations and last night I got lucky. These deer are just outside the fence that encloses the backyard and when they stopped to nibble on some grass, the camera flashed. I did get a candid shot of one deer taking care of an itch. The flash really reflects off the eyes.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greatest Flower Yet: Pink Lady's Slipper

We are blessed to have at least 5 of this very rare type of wild orchid in a corner of the back yard. It is commonly known as Pink Lady's Slipper and puts on quite a show in the spring. Research says this plant is very rare and very difficult to propagate and it must not spread easily since we have had the same number of plants for many years.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nature Never Stops Surprising

The May Flowers are blooming. Every spring the May flower emerge in several locations around the yard. These are nifty plants. The white flower blooms from the main plant stem and above it are two large leaves providing shade or protection. All of the plants have this configuration of 2 large leaves providing an umbrella over the flower that measures about 2 inches across. The flowers will last a week or two and then will be gone for a year.
In the nature surprise, these tree leaves have small red spikes sticking out from the top of the leaves. I don't know what kind of tree it is but I suspect it's not one of the best sellers. The spikes appear to be growing right out of the leaf. I'll keep an eye on them and see what they become.

Plants are Back in the Pond

It is finally getting warmer so yesterday we moved all the pond plants from the greenhouse back to the pond. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don't get anymore nighttime temperatures in the 30s. A couple survived the winter great but some looked really sad. We hope they will take off with the same vigor that they displayed last year. The fish were quite active chasing each other around the pond and the tadpoles are growing bigger everyday.
We have a bunch of Dogwoods in the yard and they are displaying lots beautiful flowers this year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Water Lily Leaf Breaks the Surface

The lily in the small pond is growing like crazy. Two leaves are now floating on the surface (like lilies like to do) and you can see more leaves under water starting to rise. It is interesting that the leaves are green when under water and are a reddish, brownish green on the surface. I hope we get some decent lily flowers this year since past years have been pretty disappointing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Azaleas are Blooming

Although spring has been quite cool, we see new signs of hope almost every day. Today the Azaleas started blooming and they are quite beautiful. We have red, pink and white bushes surrounding a large pine tree. The Azalea is a successful plant because the deer don't seem to like it so it is free to grow and display the spring colors.
This past weekend we endured a Nor'easter which blew through with 30 to 50 mile per hour winds and over 2 inches of rain. The ponds survived ok but we did loose some tadpoles that washed out of the pond when it overflowed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Amaryllis Grows Seed Pod

In all the years I have grown Amaryllis flowers, I have never seen one develop seed pods. This presents a new challenge to see if I can grow new bulbs from the seeds when they ripen. These seed pods are quite large and weird looking. They could be the design for a new space alien in a science fiction thriller.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hope for Elephant Ears Rebirth

Last fall I decided not to dig up the Elephant Ear bulbs and then replant them this spring. I was hopeful they would survive the winter in the ground and sprout again in the spring. Well today I have the first evidence that the Elephant Ears are re-sprouting. In this photo, you see two sprouts popping up about 4 inches above the leaves. The sprouts are in the top left and bottom right of the photo. As always, I will post information about their progress. But there is hope.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Bunny Arrives and Baby Bunny Rescue

One night last week our wildlife camera captured a picture of an adult bunny on the side yard. But that event was quickly overshadowed yesterday when our Great Dane Puppy found a bunny nest. I realized the puppy had been outside quite a while and wondered where he was. When I found him, he was jumping up and down at the base of a large Oak tree. I didn't think too much until I heard a squeal. I ran over there and saw the darling baby bunny trying to stay out of the way of giant dog paws. I picked up the baby and comforted him. After searching around, I found the nest about 10 feet away. I put a fence around that area and returned the baby with hopes that the mother bunny will come back and continue her duties.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Snow Covered Tulips

I think this snow storm is going to be tough on the plants. You can see how bent over the tulips are - I doubt they will stand back up to their previous beauty. Below are the new leaves on a young Oak tree covered with a heavy dose of wet snow. The temperature was 32 degrees and we had about 2 inches of wet snow. At mid morning, the sun was shining and the temperature had climbed to 35 degrees. With the sun and higher temperature the snow is quickly melting and we are expecting a high of about 50.

Mother Nature Throws a Curve

Mother Nature forgot to check the calendar. Here it is April 7th and I woke up to an inch of snow and more coming down. Ernie is now 10 months old and thinks snow is just something else to eat. Once daylight arrives, I'll see how the plants and tadpoles are accepting the surprise snowstorm.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Two Weeks Makes Huge Difference

Look back to the post on March 24th less than two weeks ago and you will see the Sweetflag has grown more than a foot. A DANGER though - Mother Nature is going to throw us a curve. The next 3 or 4 nights are predicted to be below freezing, maybe hitting as low as 26 degrees. To prepare, I setup a 20 gallon container in the garage and moved the Water Hyacinth inside. They can't handle the cold and I don't want to lose them. I am a bit nervous about the Sweetflag and all the tadpoles so keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

3rd Amaryllis is a Gemini

The third Amaryllis has bloom and it has a unique feature. One of the flowers is really two. In this photo you can see the two flowers poping out from the same base. It is not the prettiest flower but it is really neat.

Just in time for Easter, the Easter lily has bloomed. Without a doubt, the plant factory does a great job in putting these plants out just in time to bloom on the right day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Red Tulip

Today "the" Red Tulip bloomed. I am sorry to say that it appears there will only be one. We planted more than a dozen and I suspect the squirrels have feasted on the rest of the bulbs. For now I do have a picture to prove that I actually planted the bulbs. It is really quite a beautiful flower which we can enjoy for a week or so.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cherry Blossom and Tulip Delight

What is so cool about spring is the daily surprises you get to enjoy. Our Cherry tree is in full bloom at the end of the pond. The only problem with placement is soon the flower petals will fall off and as if attracted by a magnet - most of them will wind up in the pond. This Tulip is very dramatic. The bright orange set off by the black Stamen and yellow Pistil. I hope I have identified the parts correctly since it is a long time since I studied plants. At any rate a beautiful flower.