Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Grill Frog in Back for the Second Year

Last year we had frequent visits from the grill frog and he is back again this year. Today I caught him lounging under next to the burner on the side of the grill. He stayed quiet for a minute so I could take a couple of pictures and then jumped to the frame of the green house. Speaking of the green house, today it got a good cleaning and new black colored wire shelves. These shelves fit the space better and look nicer than the ones I put in last fall. They are sturdier and should hold more plants.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cutest Baby Frogs Yet

Aren't these just about the cutest baby frogs you ever did see. These guys have just lost their tails and are climbing on the iron fence. They are quite brave when you consider they are hanging about 4 feet off the ground and they are less than the size of a dime. But these little guys can jump and like a cat they land on their feet. These frogs hatched in the water planters we have on the front steps and are very different from the green frogs that hatch in the ponds.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Messy Mass on the Pecan Tree

While I was mowing the grass last week, my eyes were drawn to the lower trunk of our young Pecan tree. What it turned out to be was a mass of furry caterpillars that really looked nasty. We noticed several branches had been stripped bare of any leaves probably from these caterpillars. I scraped the gooey mass off the tree and threw them away.

The wildlife camera caught this picture of a squirrel on the side of the frog pond. I suspect he was drinking water from the pond.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Butterfly Bushes Better Than Ever

The Butterfly bushes that we cut back to 3 feet in February are now doing better than ever. They are 10 to 12 feet tall covered with blooms. We have 5 around the deck. One with white flowers and 4 with purple flowers. The butterflies and the bees love them and seem to share the bounty without argument. In the first photo is a bee on a white flower stalk and below is a large butterfly enjoying a purple flower. It is a great joy to watch the many different colors of butterflies around the bushes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

May Apples and Stunning Lilies

On April 22 I posted a picture of what I called a May Flower but it is really a May Apple. Now I know because here is a picture of the fruit the plant produces. The May Apple produces two large leaves that umbrella a white flower lower on the stem. After a couple of months some of them produce a small green apple like fruit.

I think this is the best year yet for our lilies - they are producing giant blooms day after day creating a stunning backdrop to the end of the pond. Last week I put two new Barley pads in the pond and this week the string algae is very much reduced. There is still a good supply of nasty looking brown algae so I put in one more Barley pad today to see if it helps.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Baby Frogs Growing Up

The frog pond has produced many new frogs. And it looks like several different species of frogs. Here are two youngsters that I thing have developed in the frog pond this year. You can see their different shapes and coloring. Both are very cute and were patient with the photographer so I am please with that. The frog pond is the temporary pond I built last year to hold the water plants while we were draining and cleaning the large pond. I left it up over the winter and it sprang to life in the spring, so now it has joined the pondscape.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Planet of the Frogs

The frogs are having a great summer and providing always changing opportunities for new photos. This first one is a baby frog that was promoted from tadpole to frog this spring. He is climbing on one of our frog statues that has fallen into shallow water. The frog statue laying on it's side reminds me of the scene in Planet of the Apes where the "hero" finds the Statue of Liberty laying in the sand. Luckily we haven't had a major disaster in our pondscape so the comparison stops pretty quick. The other photo is a fun picture of a large frog lounging around in the algae. He looks really comfortable and gives a great view of his back foot with it's unique web construction and his fingers on the front feet.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Redbud Seed Pods

Three years ago, we planted a Redbud tree behind the pond and it is growing nicely. In the background framed by the branch is the Yellow Twig Dogwood. This is a picture of some of the seed pods it has produced that we hope to plant this year. We tried to grow a Redbud from the seed pods last year but failed. We've had better success propagating plants this year so maybe we'll be successful.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Best Baby Deer Picture Yet

The deer have gotten a little better at posing for the camera. This is the best baby deer picture yet - just hanging out with his mom while looking for something to eat. He has to learn to find food if he expects to grow up big and strong. The other photo has mom looking right into the camera as if she know it is there. Pretty fun stuff here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dragon Fly

Yesterday, while wandering around the pond, I came upon a dragon fly perched on a vine next to the pond. He looked like a picture waiting to happen and luckily that was true. He waited while I took many pictures trying to get the camera settings just right. I don't think I ever got things just right but I do like that I captured a regular photo of the dragon fly and what I will call a ghost photo of the dragon fly.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pumpkin Might Produce Offspring

It looks like we may have a winner. This picture shows a young pumpkin on his way. The second picture shows a young pumpkin that didn't make it. The difference as I understand it, is one got fertilized and the other didn't. When you look at the flowers that open in the morning, there is an obvious difference between the ones that may produce fruit (female) and the ones that are blooming (males). If the bees don't pollinate the the female flower, the fruit dies. Another danger for this young pumpkin it is on the plant that grew in the middle of the yard which is in the Great Dane play zone. If the Dane decides the pumpkin is a ball, all the pollination in the world won't help.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ladybug in the Flower Pot

One morning last weekend, my eyes were drawn to a tiny red spot in one of our waterplant pots. Upon closer inspection, it looked like a red ladybug but after taking the picture, it was really a more normal orange bug. He is just sitting on a pebble in the pot surrounded by floating duck weed. He was gone later in the day so he must have moved on.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tree Frog on the Brick Wall

Last night we were pleased to find several tree frogs on the deck. As usual, I ran inside to get the camera but these guys weren't very understanding. I was lucky to get this shot as he crawled his way up the brick wall to get away from the camera man. He was just like Spiderman easily climbing up all of the vertical surfaces. A good talent to have when you have to leave in a hurry.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Goldfish Update

The goldfish are having a very productive summer. In the first picture there are 4 of the adult goldfish. These are 6 to 10 inches long. They have a nice variety of coloring. In the second picture you can count 10 baby goldfish that were born recently. They are 3/4 inch to 1 inch long and all gray. Only time will tell as to how many will develop gold or black coloring. This baby goldfish picture was pure luck since I took it last night in the dark. The camera flash exposed the fish swimming about 6 inches below the water surface.