Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2 AM Owl Attack

It seems like it has been a long time since I snapped a picture of a predator attack at the pond. Well the wait is over. At 2:30 am the other day, the Owl attacked and got away with at least one of our Goldfish. You can see the poor Goldfish in his claw. This proves my plant coverage isn't enough to keep the Owl from having a successful fishing trip. My latest tack is to cut black drainage pipes into 1 to 2 foot lengths and float them on the surface. The pipes aren't as ugly as the Stryofoam but the results remain to be seen.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mother Nature Weed Wacker

Last week we noticed a bunch of Spade plant leaves on the patio around one of our mini ponds. The leaves didn't fall off because of the fall season, they looked like they were chopped off. I set up the camera to find out who the weed wacker was and surprise: it was a squirrel. It didn't look like he was actually eating them, just chewing them off at the stem. Maybe there was some small juicy meat at the joint but that is really hard to see. In these pictures, the squirrel is really hard at work chomping on the Spade plant.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some Things Only a Friend Would Do

As we continue with the question: Do Deer like tomato plants. It looks like the answer is, yes. Here is a nice closeup of a Doe with a mouth full of tomato plant. I don't know for sure if she ate it but she certainly did taste it.
In the second picture, there are some things only a really good friend would do, like picking something off your backside while you are enjoying the tomato plant. Too bad the camera wasn't a little to the right to see just what the heck is going on.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Buck and the Baby

Yesterday was the day to remove the tomato plants. The days of them yielding ripe tomatoes that aren't stolen by the squirrels are over. There were a bunch of small green tomatoes on the plants so I decided to throw them over the fence to see if the local wildlife was interested. It only took about 2 hours and the deer were checking out the new food selections. First we have one of the bucks that have been hanging around. His antlers are getting longer as he gets older. Notice also how much grayer his coloring is than the baby deer in the second picture. Both seem pretty interested in grazing some of the tomato plant foliage.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Purple Bean Hyacinth

Two years ago, we had a beautiful display from the Purple Bean Hyacinth but last year was a flop. This year we tried a new location behind the pond and the Hyacinth loved the spot. We used bamboo to provide support for the vines and it grew to the top, over 6 feet and then it reached out to the Redbud tree. You can't see it in the picture but the vine has grown to the top of the tree and is reaching out for more. The second picture show the Elephant Ears and Black Magic at the large pond reaching their maximum size for the season. Nights are getting cooler so it won't be long before some of these plants decide it's time for a winter nap.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Small Pond Frogs

There was quite a collection of frogs in the small pond. Including a couple of good sized frogs like this guy floating in the temporary pond with the goldfish. And next to him is "almost a frog" A large tadpole that has both front and back legs, but still has a prominent tail. In addition there were a dozen tadpoles that were still leg free.
Of course the giant bullfrog was at the bottom of the small pond and he got a bucket without goldfish to wait for the cleaning to finish. He is huge, this guy takes up 25 percent of the bucket bottom.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goldfish Inventory

Certainly one of the joys of cleaning the small pond is the opportunity to take inventory of the wildlife living there. During the cleaning, the residents are relocated to 20 gallon tubs. The first picture show some of the residents and a nifty view of a good size frog hugging the bottom of the tub. The second is a closeup of some of the large goldfish. The count of goldfish was 9 with five being 6 to 7 inches long and one just an inch and a half long. The little one was probably born in the spring and survived to grow up.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Time to Clean the Small Pond

It is that time again. The small pond has become overgrown with Sweetflag and there is a lot of debris in the water. The whole process takes about two hours. These pictures show the before, middle and after. The reward at the end is plants under control and crystal clear water. The 90 gallons of water removed from the pond is used to water the nearby Elephant Ears.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

More Great Frogs

The abundance of frogs was quite evident the other day with a bunch of frogs hanging around the large pond. I really liked these two pictures. The first shows a cute guy floating on a black magic leaf that had seen his last day above water. It made a handy float and background for the frog to pose for the picture. The other is really terrific, three great looking frogs enjoying a sunny day in the algae. I guess they must get along pretty well since they don't seem to be acting territorial. They look alike so perhaps they are from the same batch of tadpoles.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Clean the Waterfall Again

It was time to clean the waterfall reservoir again. In fact, I never cleaned the waterfall reservoir last year. So in two years the Sweetflag grew so thick that it filled all the space in the reservoir and on occasion was causing some of the water to spill over the sides. Left unchecked, the spill could drain the pond. That didn't happen in this case and now the waterfall is good for at least another year. When cleaning it I only disturbed two medium sized frogs. When I cleaned it last time I seem to remember at least 4 frogs living in the waterfall. The after photo looks almost bare.