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Robyn's Pond Newsletter January 2005

Last Updated: 1/4/05

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Introduction and Miscellaneous:
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If you have something pond-related that you want to share (information, jokes, web sites, pond secrets and tidbits, something pond-related for sale), let me know, and I will add it to the next newsletter. What topics would you like me to cover? Do you have a question that I can answer or pose to others in the next newsletter?

Happy New Year!

The disaster in Southern Asia is beyond most of our comprehensions. I donated a good amount of money for our species through http://www.lwr.org/ but don't forget about the millions of animals in need as well. Here are too charities working to help the animals there:
https://www.ifaw.org/ifaw/general/default.aspx?oid=124101&msource=NL10105US and https://secure.hsus.org/01/disaster_fund_asian_tsunami?source=gababz
From the IFAW e-mail notice:
"As the humanitarian response takes shape, IFAW is in daily contact with local groups working to assess the impact of the tsunamis on wildlife and habitat including endangered species and protected natural areas. The initial reports are not good. While little is known about the fate of wild animals in these regions, we do know there is immense devastation to protected wildlife habitats. And according to first-hand reports, many of the beloved pets and animals people in these regions rely on for emotional support and livelihood, such as dogs, cats or livestock, are missing or dead."

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Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages (explanations below, numbers match):
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1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/pondclub.htm

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Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:
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1. I've been meaning to put up a page listing USA pond clubs for a long time. I've put the page up now but only a few clubs are on there. I will search for some and fill it up over time since I'm swamped in work. If you know of a local USA club you would like me to add to the list, let me know.

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Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:
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1. On 12/5/04, I removed the net from my 153 gallon pond and spent a few hours collecting as many leaves in that area as possible. The 1800 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 46 degrees F. As usual, I added water to all the ponds.

2. On 12/12/04, I removed the net off the 1800 gallon pond. I sure hope the heron stays away! I'm sure the raccoons were happy. It's supposed to finally get cold so the pond will start to freeze. I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs. The 1800 gallon pond was at 45 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 44 degrees F. I removed two wheelbarrows full of leaves from within two feet of the pond's edge. I hope that not too many leaves blow back in (it of course promptly got windy). I'll be running the leaf net over the surface a lot for a while twice a day. I pulled out some dying water celery from the waterfalls and some live too since it's growing where I don't want it.

3. On 12/19/04, I didn't do much outside except top off the ponds. The 1800 gallon was at 37 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 44 degrees F. When the sun went down that day, the air temperature was 40 degrees F, and then the 30 mph winds came. The next morning, the air temperature was at 7 degrees F! The ponds became zippered up in ice except where the water moves, and, even then, sometimes an ice hat formed over it. Of course, a bunch of leaves blew in and froze in too.

4. On 12/23/04, it rained, a lot, and, since the ground was still frozen, everything was running mud. The ponds filled up with muddy water.

5. Since it was due to get pretty cold over the weekend, and the pond would seal over, I got into the pond on 12/24/04 to clean off the floss. The 1800 gallon pond was at 36 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 42 degrees F. I moved the de-icer in the 1800 gallon pond to the top of the falls, into the biofilter. I covered it with a lid to my deceased 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub pond. Two 4 pound lead diving weights hold the lid in place. This keeps the wind and snow off the de-icer and biofilter which helps heat the pond. I put the 24 W winter island thing where the de-icer had been. It keeps a tiny vent open (less than half an inch by half an inch) in the ice and a little water in it which freezes when it snows or gets really cold. [In fact, it froze totally up just days later.] By the weekend, the fish were swimming under a good sheet of ice. I don't know why but the small goldfish love to swim in the shallows. I'm afraid some could get stuck there and freeze in when the ice thickens but I can't exactly make them move! The ice isn't completely clear so they don't find me waving at them a threat worthy of moving to deeper waters.

6. The last few days of 2004 got into the 50's so most ice melted in the ponds.

7. On 1/1/05, I saw something in the basement cat water fountain. It was a damselfly! I put him on the edge of a pot and took some photos. The little guy must have come in as a larvae in one of my pond plants. While it was 65 degrees F out today, I didn't put him out there since it will get cold again. There should be enough plants and little bug food (aphids, flour moths, spiders, ants, and more live down there) for him in the basement.

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Pond Tidbits:
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1. Those of use with a fondness for water lilies and water lotuses owe a lot to Mr. Perry D. Slocum who helped develop dozens of varieties. Mr. Slocum died on 11/29/04 at the age of 91. He will be greatly missed. We can only hope that ponding is a key to longevity and a good life.

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Web Sites of Interest:
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1. I guess there are none!

What's your favorite pond-related web site(s)?
Do you have a web site you want me to mention here?

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From an Animal Legal Defense Fund holiday card:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."


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