Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frog Pond Upgrade Step 3

The new frog pond is taking shape after filling it with water and adding some Black Magic Elephant Ear plants. Finally I drained the "temporary" frog pond in the background of this picture being careful to transfer any wildlife to their new home. In the end I transferred 2 upset frogs and 40 tadpoles. Actually I had to transfer one of the frogs twice because the first time he moved back to the old pond from the new one. Once the wildlife was successfully transferred, the old frog pond was removed.
In the second photo, Mr. Black Snake didn't take long to make himself at home on the new pond. You can just see him stretched out above the wood frame and over the side of the black pond liner.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Frog Pond Upgrade Step 2

The project continues. First I built a frame using Pressure Treated Lumber and leveled it on the uneven ground. Once that was in place, I dug out the hole for the deepest part of the pond and then sett it in place. Finally in the bottom photo, we put a bunch of Daffodil bulbs in place around the pond and covered them over with store bought garden soil. As a last step, I filled the new pond with water and let it sit overnight.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Purple Bean Hyacinth Takes Over Deck

This is a new plant my wife tried this year. She planted some seeds in 2 gallon pots on the corner of the deck. After a slow start, the vines exploded to cover about 20 square feet of deck. This vine has a bunch of small pink and purple flowers that turn into seed pods (picture below) after the bloom fades. So you get to enjoy great green foliage, delicate flowers and beautiful seed pods.
The seed pods are unique in that they have a zipper down one side so you can easily remove the seeds for planting next year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Drought Tests Elephant Ears

We are in the grip of a pretty serious drought with only a little over 1 inch of rain in the past 45 days. This picture shows the Elephant Ears in the center of the yard looking pretty sad. We've been watering but it is hard to keep up with the lack of help from Mother Nature. But Mother Nature is interesting in so many ways because the next photo is a beautiful Spadix flower on the same bunch of Elephant Ears the same day. We have had many Spadix flowers on the Black Magic Elephant Ears but this is the first on the Giant Elephant Ears. A dramatic flower if I ever did see one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ghosts and Sleeping Goldfish

The fall season is quickly descending on our area. The biggest indication right now is night falls at 7 pm instead of 8 pm or later. This puts a real cramp on my pond play time and the goldfish are going to bed earlier. It is hard to tell in this picture taken at 7:30 but all of these fish are hovering about an inch from the bottom of the pond sleeping. It is kind of neat to turn the light on and get a good view of them since they don't scramble away.
The other picture is a Ghost that visited the pond recently. The wildlife camera caught this shot as evidence.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Persistence Pays Off or Not

Yesterday morning before I left for work, I noticed this large snail on the upper most edge of an Elephant Ear leaf. Since I'm pretty sure snails can't fly, I guess he started at ground level about 5 feet below. It must have taken hours to slither up 5 feet of stem and leaf to the top. The problem he is now facing is his weight is bending the leaf over so he has nowhere to go but down (it is a long drop to the ground). I don't know how this turned out since I had to go to work.
The second photo is one of our Bullfrogs enjoying the afternoon floating on a Black Magic Elephant Ear that dropped onto the surface of the large pond. This leaf seems to providing an excellent platform for him.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mushroom Bonanza

I have lived here for 15 years and I have never seen a gathering of mushrooms like this anywhere in the yard. These sprang up in just the past ten days. Usually mushrooms are associated with damp conditions but we are in the middle of a drought and everything is very dry. There are a number of these bunches of mushrooms on the path on one side of the yard. Thankfully our Great Dane doesn't seem too interested in these plants as I don't know if they are toxic.
The other picture shows a closeup of the biggest mushroom bunch. They almost look like a stack of pancakes to which you might want to add some syrup.