Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amaryllis Blooms in Just Three Weeks

It only took three weeks for the Amaryllis to go from a sprout to beautiful giant flowers. The first picture is from March 30 and the second is from April 23. The bulb had started to sprout while sitting on the shelf in the garage and so I planted it. Almost instant gratification when you can go from bulb to two foot tall flower in only three weeks. None of the other five Amaryllis bulbs are pushing up flowers, just large green leaves.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brand New Baby

The pond never ceases to amaze me. For the first time a baby turtle strolled into the pondscape. I've seen some adult turtles in the area but never around the pond. Without a doubt, this little guy is so cute. He is only about an inch and a half long and he could move pretty fast for someone so small. I suspect there is a nest nearby but have no idea where and I don't even know what they look like. Now in addition to the baby frogs, I have to watch out for baby turtles wandering around the yard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Giant Tadpoles Emerge From Deep Sleep

Once again, some giant tadpoles wake up. These guys spent the winter sleeping in the junk that collected at the bottom of the frog pond. These tadpoles hatched from eggs last year and have spent a long time maturing. They survived the winter in the muck and now are moving around again. The first one is swimming around in the plants and algae. I caught the second one sunbathing on one of the bricks I use to support the plants.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Night of the Owls, Part 2

As the night of the Owls continued, we have evidence of more than one Owl and how rowdy the party became. In the first picture are two Owls, one in the foreground leaning into the pond and one in the back on top of the lamp post. But I suspect a third has just splashed the water going after the Goldfish causing the blast of spray into the air. In the second picture less than a minute later the splash is gone and the first two Owls haven't moved. Not conclusive but pretty compelling evidence of another Owl.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Night of the Owls

Shockingly great photos when I checked the camera this morning. There must have be an ad in the Owl Digest advertising a big Owl party at the Homepond last night. These two photos show an action sequence that is hard to catch. First is an Owl sitting on the lamp and then he is flying next to or trying to land on the Heron statue. Or maybe he had a vision he could "take out" the Heron. The next couple of pictures indicate the party really got rowdy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Run for the Hills! The Heron is Back

Just a couple of days after the Hawk captured one of our Goldfish, the Great Blue Heron is back. Here he is strolling up to the pond and then aiming his really long beak at the pond. I didn't get a picture showing whether this giant bird actually caught any Goldfish but he did hang around for at least seven minutes. Obviously a very beautiful bird but a fatal attraction for the Goldfish.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hawk Attacks

It is really amazing how the Hawk gets through the pond defenses. I have six stryofoam floats covering almost the total surface of the large pond and still he comes hunting. Obviously he is successful or he wouldn't keep coming back. In the first photo, he is surveying the defenses and in the second he is flying away with a Goldfish in his claw. It was certainly a sad day for the Goldfish who he grabbed from under the protection. I would love to get a photo of how he dives through the coverage and emerges with a Goldfish. Better luck next time.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sweet Flag Bounces Back

After six months of cold weather and a lack of green plants in the ponds, the Sweet Flag is back. In early March, some small green Sweet Flag tips started poking up through the water surface and now a few weeks later, the plants are going strong. Once the Sweet Flag starts growing, it will grow so fast I will have to cut it back several times during the summer.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Frog Eggs Everywhere

The frogs are trying to reproduce like crazy. We have had a bumper crop of frog eggs everywhere. Here are a couple of examples. The first is from the frog pond, strings of eggs draped over batches of algae. I'm not sure what the yellow color is from but it sure looks sharp in the picture. The second picture is from the shallow water basin at the base of the waterfall. This crazy frog laid a bunch of eggs right in the slow flowing water moving from the waterfall to the large pond. Eventually these eggs will wash into the large pond where we will get a batch of new frogs.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Amaryllis Waits For No Man

I normally don't forget to pot the Amaryllis bulbs in early February, but this year I did. The bulbs spend the winter on a shelf in the garage after being removed from pots in October. They need to rest for several months before being re-potted for another cycle. I forgot them until the other day when I was in the garage, I looked at the shelf and darned if one of the bulbs was laying there sending out a flower stalk. I don't want to fight the will to live so I quickly potted all the bulbs and gave the insistent one a prominent spot next to the Poinsettias and Pineapple. It looks happier already.