Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Frog Pond Upgrade Planned

It is quite interesting how temporary becomes permanent. The frog pond started as a pond to keep plants while the large pond was being drained and cleaned last October. Well it was not dismantled after the cleaning project was completed. That temporary pond is still there and is very popular with the frogs, Hawk, Black Cat and Black Snake. In the picture is the new liner that I am planning to use to replace the frog pond. I bought this liner at a yard sale from someone who never got around to digging the hole to put it in. It is considerable larger and deeper and will require much more work to install it. Several plans are under discussion - I am the contractor, project manager and labor and my wife is the consultant. (who do you think has the real power?) I will update as the project progresses.
The other picture shows two of our giant Elephant Ears that were planted on either side of the door to the shed. As you can see they are huge - the biggest leaves are more than 4 feet long. It makes getting into and out of the shed a bit challenging but they sure look good. These bulbs stayed in the ground over the winter and certainly came back to impress us all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Silver Elephant Ears

Here is another fun picture that was captured by the wildlife camera. I set the camera on the deck for several days hoping to catch a picture of the Owl but I got something unexpected. This is a neat picture of the Elephant Ears that makes them appear silver in color. The giant leaves are very dramatic in daylight with the rich green color but this adds another facet to their beauty.
The other picture is what I call the "pop-up-bunny" The wildlife camera caught this picture also and it appears that the bunny just popped up into the view of the lens. My wife really liked this picture so it had to join the other pictures on the blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Goldfish in the Large Pond

It has been a good year for the Goldfish in the large pond. As the pictures show, there are a bunch of them. Today I was trimming back some of the Sweet Flag and they were swimming around in case I dropped something eatable. The Goldfish are so colorful, today my wife commented the black and orange ones were Halloween Goldfish.
In the second picture, the spots of white floating on the surface is the fish food.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Big Black Cat

The Big Black Cat stopped by for a better picture. In the last one it was pretty hard to see the cat but in this one, there is no doubt this is one big cat. Thankfully we can't see exactly what the cat is doing with his front feet so this picture isn't as graphic as the Hawk picture.
On a more peaceful note, the squirrel posed for a picture on the side of the frog pond. I'm sure the frogs are very concerned that their little pond is a favorite hang out for the Snake, Hawk, Cat and Squirrel.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hawk has Fresh Frog for Dinner

Survival of the fittest or the frog wasn't fast enough to get away from the Hawk. In the first photo, you can see the poor frog held down by his left claw and in the second photo dinner is finished and the frog is gone. That Hawk looks like he is pretty proud of himself. One interesting item of note, the Black Snake was in this same spot little more than an hour before this picture was taken. I was wondering who would win in a battle between the Hawk and the Snake. It is a good thing we have so many tadpoles to make new frogs for these two predators to eat.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Small Pond Cleaning and Inventory

I cleaned the small pond last weekend and did a census of the residents living there. As you can see there are 20 Goldfish of many different colors and many different sizes. The big black and orange Goldfish is about 7 inches long. The smallest Goldfish is about and inch. You can also see one of 4 Bullfrogs that were living in the pond - the other three hopped away while I was dipping out the water but this guy got caught. And at the bottom of this container are about 40 Bullfrog Tadpoles so we have more Bullfrogs to come.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Working With Mother Nature

Mother Nature hasn't done the best job of providing regular watering. In fact we have only been getting about 2 inches per month for the last 6 months with the exception of last month when we got 4 inches in a 5 day period. I set up the first 150 gallon cistern in early June and in July I set up this one that totals 110 gallons. The systems work pretty well, capturing water from the roof during the rains and then we use it to water the plants in between rains.
With all the plants, we really need the water since you don't get beautiful Elephant Ears without it. These Elephant Ears in the back yard get really droopy if they don't get a good dose of water every week.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bullfrog and Green Frog

Here is a good shot of a Bullfrog sitting on a rock in the large pond. The feature that distinguishes the Bullfrog from the Green Frog is the line around the circle behind his eye. On the Bullfrog, the line follows the circle down. On the Green Frog the line continues straight toward the back of the frog.
The second picture shows a Green Frog sitting on a bucket hiding behind a Sweet Flag leaf. I wonder if he thinks I can't see him. If you look close, you can see the line continues straight down his back.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Biggest Caterpillar and Black and Gold

The other day I stumbled upon this giant caterpillar on the Butterfly bush. This guy is 6 inches long and as thick as a dime. From research on the Web, we think it will turn into a Pandorus Sphinx Moth. He didn't move much for about 24 hours and then was gone. His size was quite a shock as move of our caterpillars are tiny compared to him.
In the second photo, one of our Black Magic Elephant Ears has produced a golden flower. Pretty amazing stuff these plants are able to surprise us with. This spike was about 8 inches long. It must be the right time of the year because we noticed two other Black Magic's producing these beautiful flowers.