Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sunbathing Goldfish - Deer Works Both Sides Now

Today the temperature hit the mid 60's which is really nice for this time of year. The Goldfish were hanging out on the surface enjoying the milder weather. Interestingly a couple of hours later I saw a Great Blue Heron fly over. I wonder if it is the same one that visited our pond many times last winter. I bet he got a good view of the Goldfish buffet if he was looking down.

In the last post, I mentioned the deer were not deterred by the 4 foot fence I put up to protect the Sweet Shrub. Here is the photo proof with the deer working both sides of the fence late last night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wow! That Deer Can Really Jump

This afternoon we watched a herd of about six deer crossing the driveway and moving toward the side yard. We went outside to watch them move deeper into the woods and I was shocked to see one inside the area that I fenced to protect the Sweet Shrub. After the deer almost decimated the Sweet Shrub, I fenced it to protect it. This deer was standing next to the four foot high fence and calmly jumped from a standing position. He didn't have to run at all - he just high jumped the fence with little effort. My wife has always said the five foot high fence we have around the back yard would be no match for an interested deer but I thought she was dreaming. Now I believe her.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, It is time to publish the second Pond Diary. I think I will title this one The Pond Diary 2007. If all goes well I'll create the project this week and the book will be ready next week.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Little Maple Tree in Winter and Snowmen

Another nifty picture from the wildlife camera. This is a view of the little maple tree sans leaves and the Butterfly bushes around the deck. I use Christmas lights to light the deck which creates quite a picture from this angle at night. In February, the Butterfly bushes will be cut back to about 3 feet and the deck will be totally exposed. If experience is any guide, the Butterfly bushes will grow back taller next summer.
The Snowmen were made by my wife. Each year for Christmas she makes a unique Christmas gift for the folks in her office. These turned out great. I even helped with making the concrete weights to keep them standing straight.

Friday, December 21, 2007

All Quiet at the Pond

It is the time of year when life at the pond slows down. With the arrival of cold weather, the plants die back and the fish slow down. Tonight the water temperature was down to 45 degrees and the goldfish were sleeping very soundly. The first picture shows just how many goldfish are sleeping near the bottom of the pond. The second shows our foot long Comet with his nose just under one of the pump hoses. The nifty thing is the fish just sit there and put up with the camera flash. In the summer, they would have scrambled away long before I could click the shutter.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cleaning out the Leaves

I finally spent some time picking leaves out of the ponds yesterday. At first I used a net to scoop the leaves near the surface but quickly noticed something moving in the net. I found two large tadpoles that were mixed in with the leaves so everything went back in the pond. This surprised me because with the water temperature near 40 degrees, I thought the tadpoles would be at the bottom of the pond like the goldfish. So I put on the handy dandy elbow length pond gloves and picked out the leaves a few at a time. After I finished, the ponds looked a whole lot better (until the next wind storm).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Too Many Leaves; Too Much Wind

This time of year can be very frustrating. First I have to deal with the government changing the clock and claiming it saves energy (in their dreams) and then come the leaves. Yesterday we experienced winds in the 30 to 40 mph range and the leaves went crazy. In this environment, the ponds are like leaf magnets so they quickly get covered with leaves. These pictures show how bad it is and picking them out is important to the quality of the pond water. I have added some stryofoam to the large pond to help protect the fish since the plants are dying back.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Bee Saga Continues

It has been two weeks since the Raccoons dug up the bee nest. The weather has become progressively colder and the bee activity has decreased. So today I decided to fill in the hole. I dumped a 40 pound bag of top soil and moved away quickly. Within 15 minutes there were 50 to 100 bees buzzing around the dirt pile covering the hole. I guess they hadn't given up on this nest like I hoped so they were really mad. I'll update the next step when I figure out what that will be.