Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Bullfrog Awakes

I got a big surprise this morning when I went out to check the pond after a night of loud frog singing. The Bullfrog was sitting on a rock in the stream. Since we have only had small frogs lately, my heart jumped when I saw the Bullfrog until I realized what it was. This Bullfrog reminded me of my second blog post on August 30, 2005. We had a similar big Bullfrog with a greener coloration. I guess it is possible the greener coloration develops later in the season.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In For a Safe Landing

Every day we get visits from the large black crows. Recently we got this nifty action shot of one of these big birds coming in for a landing. He landed just short of the edge of the large pond lining up nicely for a big drink. Now if we could just get them to do some weeding between the patio blocks, that would be very helpful.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stare Down the Camera

The animals seem to have decided to confront the camera. First the Hawk walked right up to the camera and gave it the evil eye. I couldn't edit out the time stamp without chopping up the Hawk and he might take exception to that. But then better yet, the squirrel came to challenge the camera. When I saw the picture, I immediately starting imagining what the squirrel was saying. The first thing that popped into my mind was "You want a piece of me" and then "Go ahead, make my day".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Frogs Galore

Certainly the neatest thing about the night of the frogs is there are so many of them and they are really noisy. You really have to be careful where you step anywhere close to the pond. But, the pond is the focus of most of the activity as you can see in these two photos. The first shows 5 frogs in the large pond including the young couple laying eggs in the top right. The second photo from the small pond shows at least 4, maybe 5 frogs. It's hard to tell if there is one frog pair or two. At any rate a bunch of eggs were laid so the tadpoles should be hatching soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Hawk Visits the Frog Buffet

Not only did all the frogs attract the Owl, but the Hawk came to visit multiple times. He didn't want to miss the feast. He came to the buffet both day and night. I the daytime shot, he strikes a perfect profile. In the night time shot, it looks like he is actively fishing. Or maybe he's trying to hang ten on the end of the surfboard float. Certainly no break from danger for the frogs.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Froggy Spring Fling

The spring Frog Fest is all about continuing the species by making more frogs. The male frogs can get crazy with love but this guy really got carried away - literally. He started his courtship of the lady several feet from the pond and she carried him into the water. Maybe he was tired from the long hibernation or his feet were tired from his walk from the woods. At any rate it looks like he had the best of this deal. He gets carried to the pond and then the pair gets busy laying eggs. Soon they will be proud parents.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lots of Frog Eggs

The results of the big Frog spring blast are in. The party was very successful. There are thousands of eggs in both the large and small ponds. Pretty soon there will be thousands of tadpoles swimming around. As is Mother Nature's normal process, I'm sure a lot of the tadpoles will become dinner for the Goldfish or other critters that are bigger. But when you start with so many, the chances are some will survive and grow into frogs to continue the cycle. The bad think about all the eggs is it makes cleaning debris out of the pond almost impossible for fear of tossing out some eggs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Frogs Spring Party

A couple of fine specimens of the recently awakened Frogs. These are from the first night that the Frogs were out. The first guy is playing king of the rock surveying the pondscape. The second is one of my favorite Frog poses, the way they just float effortlessly on the water. It looks so relaxing before the big party later that night. With the Owl around, they better keep their eyes open.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Spring Buffet is Open

Look who else came to the spring frog fest. The Owl was probably attracted by all the frog singing. It looks like he is staring at all the frogs trying to decide where to start at the big juicy buffet. While I didn't get any pictures of him chowing down, I bet he didn't go away hungry. I have to feel sorry for the frogs, waking up after five months of hibernation only to have to dodge the giant Owl with a hunger to feed.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Frogs of Early Spring

They're back. After snow and bitter cold, the temperature jumped to the mid seventies yesterday and all the sudden, a bunch of frogs popped out of hibernation and headed for the pond. The two next to the deck step are moving toward the pond in single file. In looking around, there were at least 15 of their relatives also looking forward to a swim. Had to be very careful walking around or you'd stomp one. The other guy is getting ready to cross one of the wires running around the pond area. He looks like he is coiling up, getting ready to spring into the pond. Last year the frogs returned on March 4th so the snow may have caused some delay.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Midnight Snow Shot

What a difference a couple of days of sun can make. Two nights after the storm, the lamp and tree branches are still covered. But 24 hours later the snow has melted away. We still have snow coverage on the ground but with temperatures hitting 50 today and lots of sun, the snow should be all but gone. Interestingly, both of these pictures were taken in the middle of the night but I have no idea what motion caused the camera to snap the pictures. Who ever set it off moved quickly enough to miss his mug shot.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More Snow on the Pondscape

A couple of more snow pictures. The snow covers the gazing ball so gazing is very limited. In the second picture are the Hummingbird feeders and three glow in the dark globes. They won't be glowing tonight with that snow cover. The day after the snow, the sun was shining but the temperature didn't get to 30 degrees so there was limited melting. The pond water temperature is hovering just below 40 degrees so the Goldfish are suspended just above the bottom of the pond sound asleep.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Snow Birds

The snow has covered everything including the sculptures. The bunch of Egrets have a new look, different from the usual rusty metal we are used to seeing. Even their long narrow beaks have enough width to support a half inch of snow.
The two Herons are ankle deep in snow with a heavy layer on their backs. These guys should have done what the other birds do and flown south for the winter.

Monday, March 02, 2009

March Snow Storm Hits Hard

The weather man was right, the snow storm hit hard last night. We woke to about four inches of snow this morning. As you can see, the large pond looks a lot different from the scene in the last post where we had a touch of yellow in a sea of brown. The forecast is for the temperature to stay below freezing for the next 48 hours which means the snow is not going anywhere soon. Our Great Dane, Ernie got used to the snow pretty quick though playing his favorite game of chasing the ball was much more challenging with the ball disappearing in the snow. He was fascinated by the snow on the Styrofoam floating on the pond.