Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Unexpected Ferret Rescue

I received quite an unpleasant shock this morning when I left at 7 am to go to the local store and buy a newspaper. Some misguided person had abandoned two Ferrets in this small cage at the end of our road. I continued on to the store hoping they would return for these little critters. Upon my return 15 minutes later, a light rain was starting to fall but now the cage was covered by some old newspapers. I figure the local paper carrier had seen the cage on her rounds and covered it to keep the rain off. I couldn't leave them on the road, so I brought them to the garage. To be honest, I didn't even know they were Ferrets so the Internet provided that detail to me. We went to Petco to find out how to care for them and where to get rid of them They were extremely nice giving us the phone number for Ferret Rescue and some Ferret food for their temporary room and board. (These pets aren't cheap $129.95) We cleaned the nasty, stinky cage and set up lodging for them in the small crate we used for our Great Dane when he was a puppy. This cage was huge compared to their little cage. Two pm arrived without a callback from Ferret Rescue so I called the local animal shelter, The Heritage Humane Society and they said they would be happy to take the little guys. We arrived at the Humane Society where we met the game warden who said she got a call from a very upset newspaper carrier about these Ferrets being abandoned but of course they weren't on the road when she came to look for them because I had picked them up. All in all it turned out pretty good for the Ferrets and even though there was one creep there were a bunch of other people willing to help.
This is now the third anniversary of my Homepond Blog, the first post was in August 2005 about the Bullfrog that lives in the large pond. I have been surprised that someone with as few words as I have hasn't run out of things to write about yet.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photogenic Frogs

The frogs continue to put on quite a display posing for new pictures almost every day. The first picture is one of the frogs born recently sitting on the nose of a frog statue. He looks pretty proud of himself. It looks like he was the winner in the king of the frog game.
The other frog is a good sized green frog sitting on the spillway of at the top of the waterfall. This picture gives a great view of his powerful back legs coiled up and ready to jump if the crazy guy with the camera gets too close.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who is Eating the Tomatoes

This year we were having great crop of tomatoes. In fact we already harvested three beautiful tomatoes and there were a bunch more that would soon be ready. Surprise we found a half eaten large green tomato in the yard. I immediately suspected the bunnies but set up the camera to confirm my suspicion. Boy was I wrong, the squirrels were taking all the tomatoes, eating about half and leaving the rest around the yard. These two pictures show the squirrels climbing on our five foot tomato plants behind the pond that are now almost fruitless.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Votes are in and the Winner is...

One of the two baby deer wandered to the side out of camera view and so the winner is the one who stayed for the cutest picture yet. I'm not sure if he could see me on the other side of the window but he was staring right at me as I took this picture. He or she (I really couldn't say for sure) but whatever this deer is just plain cute.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Who Will Win the Cutest Baby Deer Contest

A wonderful surprise last weekend as I got up from the desk and looked into the front yard two baby deer were grazing. We have seen these two around for a while following their folks through the woods. But today I was able to get a bunch of pictures through the window while the kids were nibbling on the grass. I didn't see Momma but I suspect she was nearby - probably just out of view. This wrought iron fence in the foreground is on the patio off the front porch. So in this case the wild animals were free and I was in the cage. They are just precious with the white spots all over that will fade to brown as they mature.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Deere in the Back Yard

The five foot chain link fence wasn't tall enough to keep this great looking Deere out of the back yard. You never know what kind of wildlife the camera will capture in a picture. In this instance, the camera was set up to see who or what was eating the Petunias and it caught the Deere running around the yard. Even though they say "Nothing runs like a Deere", it wasn't too fast for the camera (it is true, the Deere runs great).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bunny Caught in the Act

My wife planted some beautiful Trailing Pansy plants out near the Hydrangeas. They had a bunch of red flowers that looked great. But the flowers started disappearing so we set up the camera to capture the culprit. We didn't have to wait long. In the first picture, you see the bunny grazing on the plants and in the second, you see him pulling a flower stem right off the plant. The plants are now trimmed down to about 1/2 inch tall. Who knew the Trailing Petunia was like M&Ms to Bunnies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Really Big Bunny

It seems to me that we have seen a lot more bunnies and squirrels this year but it could be I just have a foggy memory. I set the camera out in the bed where we are trying to grow Hydrangeas using cuttings from a mature plant. Two nights in a row, this big bunny came to check the vegetation. Lucky for us that he didn't eat the Hydrangeas or at least left some for us. We have been trying to get these plants going for two years and the biggest one is only 6 inches tall. So we rebuilt their bed adding some store bought planting mix to give them better soil to grow in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Froggy Five Pack

The frog pond we setup last fall continues to live up to it's name by providing a home for a bunch of frogs. In the first picture, it is kind of hard to see but there are 5 frogs sitting side by side under the palm plant. They stayed in position just long enough to get a decent picture though they blend in to the background pretty well. Below are two baby tree frogs doing the high wire act on the Sweet Flag. These were two of a bunch of baby tree frogs climbing on the Sweet Flag the other morning making their way into the world out of the water.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Impressive Butterflies

The appropriately named butterfly bush is living up to its name by attracting a bunch of beautiful butterflies of all sizes and colors. These are two great specimens enjoying the nectar from one of our butterfly bushes. Every day for months these bushes attract a bunch of butterflies who perform an intricate ballet flitting from flower to flower. Last year we cut some new growth from the butterfly bush and created some new bushes which are doing pretty well. We hope the new bushes will get as large as the parent plants.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Whoa! What a Baby

The other morning when Ernie, our Great Dane, went out, he focused on something on the deck seat shaded by the Butterfly Bush. He was just staring so I went to investigate and there was a baby possum, both cute and scary at the same time. I quickly grabbed the camera and took some pictures, very carefully. I was concerned that Momma Possum was close by and would take exception with us being so near her baby. Later in the morning, the baby was gone so I guess Momma returned to pick up her offspring.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Small Pond Goldfish

The cleaning of the small pond last weekend provided the opportunity to take inventory of the goldfish. There were 12 goldfish 3 to 6 inches long, 8 goldfish 1 to 3 inches and 1 goldfish less than an inch long. I didn't find the goldfish that had the sore on his tail last winter so he must have been lunch for the Great Blue Heron or one of the other predators that visit the ponds from time to time. The water is so clear now that the goldfish are more skittish and spend more time hiding in the couple of hiding places that are available. The day after the cleaning, I surprised a hawk about 20 feet from the pond who seemed to have something orange in its claw. I'm afraid it was one of these goldfish.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Small Pond Small Frog

Two other residents of the small pond are here hanging out in the temporary accommodations while their pond is getting a scrubbing. There were 4 of these frogs in the small pond but two hopped away when I drained the pond. I believe they will find their way back. I think these small frogs are from the tadpoles that spent last winter in the small pond and developed into frogs a couple months ago. These guys are maybe two inches long where the bullfrog was at least 6 inches long (not counting the stretched out legs)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Small Pond Bullfrog

Last weekend, it was time to clean the small pond again. That means transferring the residents to a temporary holding space. One of the residents is a big Bullfrog and he wasn't too happy I was messing with his home. During the cleaning, he swam around a 20 gallon bucket trying to get away from the crazy man with a camera. I was lucky enough to get a number of good pictures. Here he is lounging on the surface and then swimming away quickly with a well executed frog kick.