Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gold Frogs Emerge

We always enjoy the Gold (or Green) frogs as they emerge from there life as tadpoles. Here are a couple of great looking critters starting their life out of the water. I think these are probably tree frogs that will be singing pretty soon. Imagine how brave these guys are climbing up on the handle of the bucket.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Squirrels at the Pond

Last year the squirrels were visiting the pond and eating the plants. This year they are back but so far the plants are safe. My guess is there is still plenty of food around so they don't have to stoop to eating pond plants. Later in the year, that may change and the plants will be in danger. One thing the squirrels did do is strip the apple tree of apples.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baby Goldfish in the Bucket

Every year as the Sweet Flag grows likes crazy, I cut back some of the longer shoots and put them in 20 gallon buckets to make more habitat for the frogs. The frogs have taken full advantage the buckets but occasionally I would see small fish darting about. Since the fish can't live long in buckets without aeration, I went fishing this weekend. The first picture shows two about inch and a half fish. The second shows seven fish from tiny to an inch long from another bucket. So either some fish eggs or fish frye came over with the plants and grew in the buckets. After catching the fish and taking their picture, the fish were released back into the large pond to grow up big and some will turn orange.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Speaking of Elephant Ears

For several years I have left the Elephant Ear bulbs in the ground over the winter. This has been much easier and has worked well until this year. Our winter was colder and snowier then we have seen for a number of years. The first picture is the few Elephant Ears that recovered around the pond. Usually a bunch of plants is down to just a few. In my previous post, the Banana tree took a spot usually covered with large Elephant Ears. The exception is next to the shed door. Those plants are coming back nicely. Maybe they were more protected being up against the shed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Plants in the Back Yard

This year we added some new plants to the back yard. First was five Encore Azalea bushes. Our Azaleas in the front yard are so beautiful every spring, we decided to try some in the back yard. The Encore variety is supposed to bloom several times a year. We'd love to have Azalea flowers in the summer and the fall too. The other new addition is a Banana tree. My wife has been looking for one after reading an article last winter. Today we were looking at the planting area that should be sprouting a bunch of Elephant Ears. But the winter was so cold all but a few died for the first time in years. So off to Lowes to see what could fill the spot. This Banana Tree was identified as a "hardy" variety - we'll find out pretty soon how hardy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bird Day at the Pond

The camera snapped a bunch of pictures of various birds hanging around the large pond this week. I think we are getting more birds because it has been pretty dry and the pond provides them a bath and good drink of water. The first little guy is a Goldfinch (I think). We have seen a number of them at the bird feeder and they are quite stunning with the bright yellow body and black wings. The second in probably a bit more dangerous for the pond life as I think this is a baby Hawk. He has the same markings as the full grown Hawks we have seen regularly. But he is about 1/4 of their size. So maybe our big Hawk has had babies and is teaching them how to steal our juicy Goldfish. At any rated this is a nice looking bird.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What's Worse Than a Predator Eating Goldfish?

As sad as it is when a predator takes and eats the Goldfish, it is worse when they don't finish the job. In this instance, I was looking around the pond a couple of days ago and spotted a Goldfish in the grass about five feet from the large pond. This poor fish hadn't been there too long because he didn't seem to be totally dead. I put him back in the pond to try to to revive him. His mouth moved and the gills tried to get started but it was too late. This guy was 8 inches long and I know he didn't jump five feet out of the pond. With that I decided a predator captured him from the pond and for some reason - dropped him and moved on. Quite a waste of a great looking fish. The same day on the other side of the yard we found an egg on the yard with a bird embryo laying next to it. It appeared to me that yet another predator hadn't completed his job. Very sad day for the critters.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Raccoon at the Small Pond

Last week I found some Anacharis (a plant that is doing very well in the small pond) had been pulled out on the patio. I wondered who was fishing and pulling the plants while doing it. I setup the camera and low and behold, it was probably Mr. Raccoon. In the first picture he is fishing right at the spot where the plants were pulled out. In the second picture, he is walking away looking pretty satisfied with himself. He doesn't seem to be too bothered by the camera flash.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

March of the Frogs Going Strong

The march of the frogs is going strong. A bunch of the tadpoles we talked about in March are now tiny frogs moving out of the pond and into the big world. In this picture, you have to look very close to see six of these cute critters in and around rocks in the stream. It is like a treasure hunt. The frogs don't seem to want this march to end because they keep laying eggs. Below is a new batch of tadpoles that hatched from recently deposited eggs. We are hoping these are green tree frogs since they seem to lag the earlier frogs. Can't wait to see if we are right. Meanwhile the big tadpoles that spent the winter in buckets, large and small pond are becoming frogs. The difference is these frogs are 10 time the size of the tiny frogs in this picture.