Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December Goldfish

After last weeks snow, today the temperature hit 60 degrees and so it was a good day to do some pond filter cleaning. It started off with a disappointment when I found a dead six inch Goldfish floating under one of the Styrofoam pieces. There weren't any obvious signs of trauma so I don't know how he died. Thankfully that was the only dead one that I found. As you can see from the pictures, we still have a good batch of Goldfish swimming around in the pond. This is a good point to end this year and publish the 4th Pond Diary. "The Pond Diary 2009"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sun Before the Snow

Last week before the snow, the camera captured a beautiful winter sunrise over the pond. The pink ray in the middle is probably cause by the sun hitting the lens almost straight on. A much different view than the snow that covered this area this week. One critical piece of equipment this time of year is a set of pond gloves. It is a constant battle with Mother Nature who throws all kind of junk like leaves in the pond and me pulling all that junk out. With the water just over 40 degrees direct contact with skin is to be avoided whenever possible.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Owl

The snow is sticking around for quite a while. These pictures are 3 days after the snow and as you can see there is plenty of snow still on the pondscape. In the first picture if you look close you can see the owl visiting in the pond in the middle of the night. The snow certainly didn't slow him down at all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Stops Solar Power Dead

Another problem with the snow is the solar power system can't produce any power if the panels are covered with snow. Yesterday morning the panels had about 4 inches of snow on them. I figured I would try to scrape off the snow but the last place to be in the snow is on the roof. So I stood up a ladder and used a broom with an extension to reach as far as I could which was only up to about half the lower panels. After that we produced a tiny bit of power. Then this morning the panels are covered with about an inch of icy snow. I hope the sun will melt this soon. Below are perfect bird tracks from the front patio.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Major Snow Storm

Last night it started snowing and boy did it snow. We were lucky that sometime after midnight the temperature rose to just above 35 degrees and the snow turned to light rain. Even with that, there was at least 4 inches of snow this morning. The pondscape sure changes when mother nature changes the ground cover to a white blanket. The first picture is the large pond and the second is the small pond. If you look close you can see the footprints of our Great Dane, Ernie as he surveyed the new scenery. As in past snow storms, Ernie thinks the snow is there for him to eat - a great big snow cone.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Four AM Owl Visit

The owl continues to be a frequent late night visitor to the pond. I have now added four of the Styrofoam floats to the pond to make up for the lack of plant coverage. I suspect the owl is coming every night but the camera doesn't always get pictures. The camera has a mind of its own and seems to work when it wants to. The solar panel battery system I bought for the camera has reduced the number of times I have to change batteries but it produces no power on rainy days. In the past six weeks we have had over 12 inches of rain so we've had a bunch of rainy days. This week the prediction is for the weather to turn very cold with a high of 35 next Monday. We aren't looking forward to that. I have been looking at new cameras but haven't decided on

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Freeze Comes

It finally happened, later than last year but the first serious frost has arrived. The easy way to tell is to look at our Elephant Ears. They tend to do ok until the temperature drops below freezing and then - WATCH OUT!! They look terrible. The leaves start to brown and lose all of their body, they just sag. These pictures show the before and after of the plants beside the shed door. Now comes the work: I have to cut them down to the ground and haul the leaves and stems away. Once again I will leave the bulbs in the ground and see what happens next year.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Hibiscus Beauty in December

Plants are usually quite drab this time of year but sometimes something impressive happens. After the Hibiscus spent the spring, summer and fall outside without a single bloom, we brought it inside to protect it from the cold. It bloomed almost immediately and now it has a second bloom and several more buds.
On a less successful note all the poinsettias I planted out front in the spring are looking very sad. I was hoping they would go out with a blaze of red but t looks like they will just die. So much for that plan.