Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Small Critters in Large Pond

Here's a couple of the small critters that call the large pond home. There were at least six small frogs about this size. I was surprised we didn't find any larger frogs as we see them around all the time. They must have heard the pond was scheduled for a major cleaning and located somewhere else for the duration. Some of the cutest critters were the 9 Red Spotted Newts that we found. They were all about the same size as the tiny guy in the picture. They seemed happy to get back into the pond after the cleaning.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Large Pond Cleaning Completed

The pond cleaning process took almost 8 hours. But now it is completed. The first picture shows the newly refilled pond with the sideline plants. The second picture includes the Goldfish and a bunch of Anacharis from the temporary Rubbermaid cistern. Also in the second picture, you can see the orange Goldfish swimming around their fresh clean pond. The fish were very active when they were introduced to the clean pond checking out every corner of the pond.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pond Empty and Clean

After a long time, the pond is finally empty and wiped clean. The filter is back in place and various hoses and pots are ready to be added back to the pond. In the middle of the second picture is the "Koi Kastle" that will provide a hiding place for the fish when the Hawk, Owl and Heron come for dinner. The "Koi Kastle" is about two feet long and a foot tall and wide so pretty good shelter space. Another difference is the two pots with Sweet Flag that should provide even more coverage for the Goldfish once they grow. Time to refill with fresh clean water.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pond Cleaning Starts

Cleaning day arrives. All the plants are removed, the filter is pulled away from the pond and one pump is pushing water from the pond into the yard. The pond is about 750 gallons so draining takes a one and a half hours. At the half way point I took this picture of the Goldfish swimming around in their shrinking pond. I imagine they wonder what the heck is going on. We assure them they'll have a nice clean pond when it is completed. As the water level dropped, I was able to capture the fish and move them to the Rubbermaid cistern. The census was 56 Goldfish, 9 Red Spotted Newts and 6 frogs. Surprisingly there wasn't a Bullfrog this time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October Cleanup

This week I plan to drain the large pond and give it a good cleaning. To prepare, I have been cutting back the plants and removing planters behind the filter. The plan is to extend the patio behind the filter and use plants in pots for accents. I have to temporarily relocate the Goldfish, Frogs and any other critters currently calling the large pond home. The 150 gallon Rubbermaid cistern that is part of my rain water collection system will serve as their home. I have prepared it with a bunch of Anacharis that has grown like crazy this year. We really had a bumper crop of that wonderful plant this year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Plant Eating Squirrel Redux

I gave up catching cute little birds on the birdbath so the camera is back at the pond. It has been very quite recently with the exception of the squirrels. They are chowing down on the various pond plants just about every day. Previously they concentrated on the Spade plant which they chewed back to ground level. Here they are enjoying some of the other plants. The squirrel in the second picture is even chewing on the Louisiana Iris plants that we separated last week. The Iris had overgrown its pots so we split it into multiple pots and trimmed the leaves. The Iris blooms were great this year and we are looking forward to even better blooms next year.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Turtle Egg Update

Four months ago in late May my posts described two giant turtles laying eggs in our yard. One in the front yard and one in the back yard. We expected the eggs to take about three months to hatch so we have been checking the nests every day. A few days ago I noticed a hole in one of the nests that appeared to be pushed up from below. The same appeared the next day on the other nest. Today I dug them up to see if the eggs had really hatched and the babies ran for the woods. I found a bunch of empty egg shells so I assume the babies did hatch and are in the woods setting up a new turtle life. This week we had 11 1/2 inches of rain so at least the turtles won't be thirsty.