Backyard Pond

Discussion of backyard pond, frogs, goldfish and plants.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Owl Gets Lucky

A couple of days ago, I captured the picture of the Owl with a frog leg sticking out of his mouth. Now the Owl is taking one of the Goldfish. This picture taken at 5:30 am yesterday morning shows the Owl flying away with one of our Goldfish in his claws. His fishing success continues the discussion about how to protect the Goldfish from predators. The Owl was able to get through the Styrofoam, floating rocks and floating solar fountain to get the Goldfish. And we have the tunnel at the bottom of the pond where the Goldfish are supposed to hide when threatened by predators. My wife suggested the Owl was taking the Goldfish back to her nest to feed her babies. Great; just what we need is more Owls to fish in our pond.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toads Look Out

The toads spring fling attracted some of the neighborhood predators who saw a chance for great meal of frog and goldfish. They are not safe day or night. In the first picture taken at night is a giant Owl standing on the side of the large pond. If you look close at what I think is his mouth, that may be the leg of a frog sticking out. It is sad for the frog but common in nature. The second picture taken the next day is not nearly as violent. It is a great shot of a Hawk standing on the floating rocks. I didn't get any pictures that he was lucky in his search for lunch so maybe score one for the frogs and goldfish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toads Spring Fling Small Pond

As you can see the small pond was host to a bunch of toads at the height of the spring fling. Here are at least three couples and several singles enjoying the small pond hospitality. The single toads always looks so comfortable floating on the water. Although looking calm, one swift kick of their back legs and they zoom across the pond. 48 hours after the spring fling started, the temperature over night dropped to 38 degrees and the toads left the ponds returning to their woodland homes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Toads Spring Fling Large Pond

A couple more of the toads who participated in the spring fling this year. All that swimming can get pretty tiring but luckily there are plenty of places to rest. One of the toads took advantage of the fake lily pads that were added to the pond this winter. I wonder if the other toad is waiting his turn. I've always heard of frogs floating around on lily pads so here is the confirmation. The second picture is one of our couples taking advantage of the float either before or after they laid their eggs. Again we see how the female is much larger than the male who has to hold on tight or risk getting thrown off.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Toads Spring Fling

We enjoyed temperatures in the low 80s yesterday and it brought the toads in from the woods to lay eggs. This frog night happens every year but it is always fascinating that such a large group of frogs come out in force on the same night. Boy do they make a bunch of noise calling out to one another. The noise goes on all night and this year continued after sunrise. The first picture is a "frog ball" where multiple males hang on to one female. In this case three males hanging on the single female. A minute or two later, two of the males were ejected and the female and remaining male headed for the pond. The other picture is a toad attempting to climb up on one of our floating rocks. I don't know if he made it but he was trying very hard.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Bat Update

Sorry to report when I got home yesterday, the bat was still hanging by the light so it was time for an intervention. I grabbed my solar panel brush with the 15 foot handle and pushed it toward the bat. I assumed he would take the hint and fly away. Wrong! I had to push him from his perch using the brush and he fell straight down on the driveway. He spread his wings, hissed and opened his mouth wide exposing menacing looking teeth. But he still didn't move. As I understand bats can't take off from a flat surface so I went a step further. I swept him onto a dustpan and carried him to the woods where I hoped he climb up on the brush and fly away. He was just plain mad and kept hissing so I left him to figure it out. This morning I checked and he was gone. I hope he flew away on his own instead of being dinner for another critter.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Midnight Visitor Hanging Around

We had a couple of middle of the night visitors the night before last. The first is a black and white cat roaming around the pond. I can't tell if he was doing a little fishing or just wandering around. The other visitor was a real surprise. I noticed something hanging from the house overhang in front of the garage next to some spotlights. I got as close as I could and determined it was a bat that was hanging there sleeping. The bat didn't move when the garage door was opened to let the car in and out. I do hope when I go out this morning that he has moved back to his usual resting place.