Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Handling Snow Somewhat Easier

In preparation for the big snow storm yesterday, I covered parts of both decks with tarps. Several times during the all day snow, I cleared the snow off the tarps. This morning there was only about 2 inches covering the tarps so it only took about 10 minutes on each deck to remove that snow and pull off the tarps. And there they are beautiful safe and clean decks. The first picture is the back deck and the second is the pond deck. One little catch is the tarps are very slippery when they have snow on them so it was a little like ice skating. Today I spent a couple of hours clearing the snow off the solar panels so we could at least make a small amount of electricity.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pond Scape Becomes Snow Scape

All week the weather predictions have been calling for a huge snow storm. And it really happened, it was snowing at 5 am when I got up and it snowed all day long. These pictures are from about 4 pm show snow and ice are almost covering both the large and small ponds. There are just small holes in the ice where the water is still pouring into the pond. The high temperature was only 26 degrees with a prediction of 15 degrees tonight. I shoveled the driveway 5 times today and my shovel and back say the total snow fall was nine and one half inches. If the snow stops tonight, I shouldn't have much to shovel too much of the driveway tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frog Succumbs to Hard Freeze

Looks really bad for this frog. Yesterday I noticed the Azolla in the frog pond had receded some since the ice melted. I saw what looked like a frog foot sticking out from under a leaf. So of course being curious, I moved the leaf and sure enough, it was a frog. He was very gray and just laying their. At first I thought he was hibernating like the frog I disturbed last week while cleaning the large pond. That frog did slowly use his back feet to move to another spot in the pond to get away from me. No such luck with this frog. He was still floating motionless five hours later so I think RIP is in play.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cat in the Shower

First I apologize for the difficulty in seeing just what is in these pictures. It is hard to get a good picture of what I think is a Black Cat against a black background. If you look closely and compare the first picture with the second one, you can see something is directly under the water pouring into the pond from the filter. The water is bouncing off the back of something. I have studied the picture and made my best guess and it sure looks like a Black Cat to me. BUT I always heard cats don't like water. Maybe it is something else.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January Thaw Arrives

After three weeks of ice on the pond, we have had three days with the daytime temperature in the fifties. The ice on the ponds melted and gave me the opportunity to clean out some of the accumulated leaves that were frozen in place. Of course the water temperature is still very cold so I had to wear my pond gloves to protect my hands. In addition to using this break in the weather to clean the pond, yesterday we pruned the Butterfly Bushes from about 10 feet tall to about three feet. Now they are ready to burst forth with new growth in the spring.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Very Talented Owl

The Azolla that covered the frog pond last summer is still there. Frozen in a solid sheet of ice and turning a bold reddish brown color. It is almost like a rug floating on the pond. But that Owl is still getting through the defenses. The day after I added another float, here he is lifting off the pond - dripping water and carrying one of our prize Goldfish. My wife said "he and his family are sure eating well this winter". So I added one more float to provide a little extra protection.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bird is Ice Walking

With all the water being frozen for three weeks, the neighborhood birds are congregating at the large pond for small parts of the pond that are not frozen. In the first picture are a couple of Morning Doves walking on the ice looking for a drink of liquid water. Later that day, a Robin is standing on the edge of the pond sunning himself. Thanks to the pumps constantly moving water parts of the pond haven't frozen over. The prediction is some temperatures in 50's later this week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ice Fishing With The Owl

It is hard to believe, even 20 degrees and quarter inch thick ice on the pond didn't stop the owl. In the first picture he is hard to see but he is in the water just past the closest 3 floats trying to get to the fish. In the second picture, you can see the results of a successful fishing trip for the Owl and a disaster for a pretty good sized Goldfish. The Goldfish is tightly grasped in his right claw just after he left the pond. After seeing the picture, I added another float to the pond to increase the protection for the Goldfish.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Frozen Ponds

The cold snap is continuing and is projected to stay at least another five days. This cold blast started with heavy winds blowing leaves all over the place. Many leaves landed on the ponds and froze in place. It is really hard to pick out the leaves if they are frozen in a large block of ice. Maybe next week we'll thaw and be able to clean the debris off the ponds.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Frozen Birdbath

An arctic blast arrived with a vengeance this week. Yesterdays high temperature was only 33 and it dropped to 20 degrees this morning. One of the effects of the cold is a solid frozen hanging bird bath. One of the neighborhood birds isn't fazed by the ice - he is just sitting on top. He sat there for so long, I thought he might be stuck but then he flew off a few minutes later. The cold didn't deter Ernie from wandering around the yard at 5:30 in the morning. He walked in front of the camera aimed at the pond and created an overly bright head shot perfect for posting on the blog.