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Robyn's Pond Newsletter October 2005

Last Updated: 10/8/05

Introduction and Miscellaneous:

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?

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages; New Pond Photos:

1. None.

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 9/27/05, just days before this newsletter was to go out, my only copy on a disk stopped working. I used the file the day before, writing a page of information. It's all gone, just churns in the drives (on three different computers). No backups. I have no idea what I wrote about the chores from FOUR weeks! I pulled the 9/25/05 notes out of the trash and will try to retype what I did. As for the notes I made the other days, it is the best I can recall. I really have no idea. You probably don't care at all that you can't read my records but I use them myself for reference and am now lost. I also lost my 40 page list of "things to do." I have a hard copy though, just have to find a few dozen hours to re-type it (like that will happen!). Goes to show you that one should backup all files more often. I'm not that smart.

2. On 9/4/05, I total changed/replaced the flosses (filter material). Beyond that, I haven't a clue what the temperatures were or what I did. I probably threw out a few wheel barrows full of water lettuce. The ponds were in the mid-70's I think.

3. On 9/11/05, I squirted off the flosses and Cyprio biothings and don't have a clue what I wrote here before (it was a lot though about the various things I did and saw!). The ponds were in the mid-70's I think. I think I fertilized the lilies and lotus and a few other plants this week.

4. On 9/17/05, the mastiff and boxer paid us a "nice" visit. They've been by before, half a dozen times. The mastiff drained my pond twice by dislodging rocks and almost killed all the fish. The boxer put holes in my rabbit hutch. The boxer ripped at the rabbit windows again, giving my buns a heart attack. Last time, he actually made a hole in the hardware cloth. The dogs scared the chickens up to roost but did no obvious cage/fence damage. The dogs tried to eat my ill cat Elvisina. Both dogs went total (I mean just the head out!) body submersion swimming in my 1800 gallon and 153 gallon ponds. In the 153 gallon, they knocked the lilies to the bottom and lowered the water level two inches. In the 1800 gallon, where I found both of them totally IN the pond, they knocked over about 20 pots in the marginal area, spilling the rocks out, dislodging plants, letting dirt into the water, defoliating and stripping a dozen plants, smushed down all the tall marginals into at thick mat, dumped my 5 5 gallon lily pots in the moderate depth area into the deep end, pushed all the rocks on the lily shelf to the bottom, jumped/swam on top of the net in the deep end, scared the fish, matted down all the water celery, frog fruit, forget-me-not, lizard tail, cattails, grasses, etc. into mats, disconnected the Mag-Drive pump from the Cyprio inlet, actually picked up and moved the 2 gallon pot of golden club about 20 feet from the pond where they also dumped my new $7 fake koi which the mastiff left chew marks in, dislodged rocks (and I mean ones that I cannot even MOVE), and I could go on.

I spent a half hour reconnecting the lines, pulling the lilies out of the deep end, and righting the pots in my hip waders. I managed to lure the dogs into our old dog pen and shut them in. If you had seen my pond, you would have thought a hurricane had hit it.

I love animals but these dogs while sweet to people are the most destructive animals I've ever met! We called the owners 3 times, then animal control. A cop came who called animal control who then called the owners yet again (who said they'd be right over). The boy of maybe 12 years finally came with a friend to retrieve them (he walked the 1/3 mile or so). And, he didn't even bring any leashes! They dragged them off. Gator, the mastiff, then decided to sit. A 80 pound boy can't move a 120 pound dog! They finally left. My mother says we're going to sue for damages but I know the lawyer would want more than the few hundred we are due. It's not money I need. I need a few strong guys to help me repot! I have no such time so the pots will just fester. I wonder what the fish were thinking!

5. On 9/18/05, I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs. I uprighted more pots that the dogs knocked over. I removed three pots with nothing left in them. I repotted the tropical bluebells which the dogs had completely removed from their pots. I tried to pick up and toss a ton of pea gravel and larger rocks out of the deep end and back into the waterlily pots and marginal area. The ponds were in the mid-70's I think. I removed three wheelbarrows full of weed grass from around the pond. That's about all I can remember.

6. On 9/25/05, I can tell you what I did because I have the notes out of the trash and did it recently enough that I remember. It's only been 3 days so it's still fresh.

I took off the heron net. In doing so, I had to really pull and pulled out a lot of weed grass and water celery stuck to it on the ground and in the falls. I think some rocks moved too. The waterfall spill area was open/clear for the first time in months.

I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings. I was supposed to wash them in the kiddie pool but was confused and didn't. I doesn't really matter as I'm putting it up soon. Both ponds were at 70 degrees F. The aphids are really bad on the few remaining waterlily leaves. My tropical waterlily is the only one that's doing well. For the first time, I think some of my 8-year- old hardy waterlilies have died or almost so.

I cut down some of the marginals. Two of the cattails were broken up from the dogs so I cut down all three cattails early. I pulled up some of the smushed marginals. I left the iris and pickerel weed up so that they might photosynthesize some more before winter. I cut down a lot of the lizard tail. It was too highly damaged (and defoliated early anyway). I cut down the plantain seed pods. Although they're interesting, they're in the way. I cut about a third of the water celery by the waterfalls that hangs over into the pond. I didn't want to remove too much as it's still filtering the water and provides cover and security for the fish. I can see more of the fish now as the plants are removed. I removed about three loads of debris. Only a little bit of that was aphid-laden water lettuce. Weed grass is all over.

I started with the first dose of Microbe-Lift Autumn Prep. I also put in the usual koi clay and baking soda (and BZT on Saturdays). The dogs knocked all the medium-sized rocks on the waterlily ledge into the deep end. I can't get them back into place. In order to keep the lily pots from sliding down into the deep end, I now have to keep them more shallow. The "experts" who built my pond made it all sloped. They told me it couldn't have flat areas. It's all like a "Slip n- Slide" (that's a piece of plastic that you run water down for kids to slide on for those that don't know). The pond needs cleaning bad but I don't have the time or ability to do it. The 1800 gallon has never had a 100% cleaning before.

Due to almost no rain in two months (we only got a registerable amount on 9/25/05 of 0.1 inches), the trees are losing their leaves early. So, I decided to put the leaf nets on a week or so early. I had to chase a pickerel frog out of the biofilter first. By myself, it was an ordeal but I got the net on the 1800 gallon pond. Once done, I realized there was a gaping hole at the top of the waterfall. Oops. That was the part that was supposed to be down the other end where there's a lot of excess. Now, I will have to sew the hole with some fishing line. Leaves will find any hole in the net. The nets catch on everything from rocks to sticks to plants to my eyeglasses and even trying to cut off my fingers. Trying to hammer the net anchors into the drought-inflicted ground was like trying to hammering through stone. In fact, I couldn't tell when I hit rock, liner, or regular dirt.

I hauled the shop vacuum, hoses, and electrical lines out to my back pond. All that was left was some slop which I vacuumed out with some rinsing. I refilled the pond. I hope the deer don't drink it down in a day or two.

7. At 11 pm just as I fell asleep on 9/26/05, my mother was yelling and woke me up. The dogs were back and attacking the rabbit hutch. By the time I got out there, I couldn't find them. I couldn't go back to sleep until 2 am worrying about what they might do. I don't think they liked the new leaf nets so they didn't really get into the pond (just pushed the net down in a few spots). At dawn, the dogs were there, and we put them into the pen. The owner came to get them (my mother had also called him at 11 pm but we couldn't find the dogs) and was yelling and really mad. He shoved and slapped the dogs and said he was "taking them to the pound today." I was upset that now the dogs would go through that or even die because of me. My mother contacted the Neopolitan mastiff rescue group later that day to say Gator and Lovey were at the pound. Well, as usual, the guy must have lied because he had called the mastiff rescue too! He told the woman that the dogs were never confined or chained. He told us when asked why they kept escaping, "They keep breaking their chains." This guy tends to lie. He was supposed to come over 9/27/05 with a $200 check for the damages but he never did. I sure hope the dogs get descent owners because they are desperately in need of some love. The rescue can't take them for at least two weeks. I live in fear of their return.

Pond Tidbits:

1. Lost.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. Nothing comes to mind this month.

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