The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Pond and the Backyard

It has been a while since I posted an update on the pond and the yard.  So here it is…


Tadpoles did arrive in the pond this year albeit a little later than usual.  There seems to be two batches.  I believe that the first batch came along soon after I posted I did not have any and worried it was due to the snake.  The second batch seems to be kind of new – maybe only 2 weeks out and much smaller.  When I am sitting in the house at night I can hear frogs "singing" just outside by the pond.  Sometimes even in the day I can hear them make a little peep or two, especially if we are getting rain.  Just this morning I stepped out on the deck and noticed a small bullfrog sitting on the rocks at the edge of the pond.  It was very near the pink water lily.  A tiger swallowtail flew by; I think it was attracted to the lily.  When it got a little too close to the frog – it jumped into the pond and swam away under the lilypads in a flash.


This is the second bloom for the pink lily this summer.  I had it for two years before it ever bloomed.  The pink is so pretty and it looks so perfect – the bloom almost looks artificial.  The white water lily that I have had since the beginning with the pond has grown immensely.  It is not uncommon for it to have 4, 5, or more blooms at a time.  The pads no longer just cover the water top – they poke up above the water level and create a dimensional effect for the pond.  The little floating heart has not yet bloomed this year.  It has a small, delicate, yellow bloom.


A few of the pretty koi added this year have disappeared.  I am thinking the snake is to blame.  I have not seen the snake for a long time.  It could be frogs – but one of those fish was pretty good size for a frog to make off with.  There are two koi left – one is white with a red spot covering its head and the other is a calico.  There are a few old fish that I believe are grown babies from some of my original shubunkin and comet goldfish.  They are black and hard to spot.  I think the hard to spot part is what has kept them around for so long.  The crew (5) of shubunkins I added late last year are growing and doing well.


A few weeks ago I found the baby turtle upside down on a lily pad.  I watched as it tried to turn over.  It kept trying but could not.  This was at a hot time of day and the turtle was in the bright, hot sunshing.  I dipped it out to look it over and noticed what appeared to be albumen all over it.  This was keeping it from turning back over.  I did not know what to make of this -- but now I am thinking it was in the middle of some frog eggs, the same eggs that hatched out a few days later for the second batch.  Just last week I spotted a baby fish on a lily pad.  I thought it was dead but then it wiggled.  So I went down the deck steps and lowered the pad into the water so the fish could swim away.


The baby rabbit has been back almost daily (or does it live in the backyard?) and I think it is still eating flowers along with some lettuce scraps I toss out.  The echinacea has still not produced a bloom – the rabbit eats the buds before they can bloom!  The plumbago looked like it had been trimmed when I was out there a couple days ago.  In addition to this baby – the one with the little white streak on its forehead – I have seen another baby rabbit that is about half its size.  The rabbits and the chipmunks enjoy the small grape tomatoes that I toss out to them.  I love grape tomatoes – but not when they get soft.  When they get soft – the animals can have them.


The hummingbirds are emptying the feeders on a regular basis.  They continue to fight even though there is plenty to go around for all.  I see one male hanging out in a butterfly bush.  As soon as another hummingbird comes near "his feeder" he dive bombs it.  The other day I thought I heard him hit against another in one of his attacks. 


Along with the hummingbirds, the bluebirds are still coming and going.  I saw a young bluebird sitting on the deck the other day waiting to be fed.  I thought perhaps it could not fly well yet – but it took off for a tree at the edge of the woods.  The yellow finches are coming for the seeds on the lemon balm.  This time of year the males are very vibrant yellow.  It is always fun to watch the birds come to the shallow water dishes in the yard.  As soon as I put fresh water they come to drink and splash around.  I think they hear the water running and come knowing it is cool and fresh.


I have some weeding to do (I always have weeding to do) and a little clean up here and there.  The backyard is work but it also provides a great place to take some photos – and I don't have to use any gas to get there!


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