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Robyn's Pond Blog for January 2022

Last Updated: 2/7/22

1. On 1/2/22, it was a warm 58 degrees F at 10:56 am. The 1800 gallon pond was at 56 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 50 degrees F. The temperatures are supposed to finally go below freezing after today, and there may even be snow. So, I decided to go ahead and squirt off the filter materials around the big pond's pump since it was warm. I didn't need to add any water due to a few inches of rain the last few days. I also put in pond additives and finally cut down what remains of the iris in the 153 gallon pond.

2. We got 2 inches of snow on 1/3/22. I went to work. The heron left footprints in the snow.

3. I did about 20 minutes of work on the pond on 1/9/22 because it was rain near freezing all day. At 10:16 am, the air temperature was 34 degrees F, and there was a break in the rain. The 1800 gallon pond thermometer read, I think, 42 degrees F. I had to pull it through ice and snow and the net and couldn't see it well. The 153 gallon pond's temperature was 43 degrees F. I didn't need to add water to any of the ponds. I couldn't get in the big pond if I wanted to because the net was frozen to the ground. I did put additives in the big pond (that would be a little bit of baking soda, BZT, pond-zyme, and koi clay).

4. At 2:06 pm on 1/16/22, the air temperature was 28 degrees F, and it was lightly snowing. I could not get in the big pond because the access spot was iced over. The 1800 gallon pond was at 40 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 42 degrees F, pretty warm considering the bitter air temperatures for days. I used grabbers to collect some of the many leaves in the ponds. I added water and additives to the big pond. I see the four koi but all the other fish have been hidden for days now. The heron was still around this week and even on my driveway camera, spending some time with my truck, on the hood! I presume he/she saw his/her reflection and is in love.

5. On 1/23/22, at 12:43 pm, it was 37 degrees F outside. Both thermometers read 42 degrees F. There was still too much ice in the big pond to get in. I added water to the big pond. The 153 gallon pond didn't need water, and the three other ponds were frozen solid. When I came back outside after getting something, a pair of mated-for-life black vultures was on the porch. They wanted cat food. Since it's been so cold, it's hard for vultures to smell dead animals, and then the bodies are frozen so they're hard to eat. After watching the smaller vulture (female?) try to eat dry cat food, I brought out a can of shredded chicken cat food. As I walked away, they were on the bowl before I was five feet away. I have never seen any animal eat food that fast! They were starving. They hung around for an hour using their energy to digest before being able to fly away. The neighbor's cat came around and chased one vulture who couldn't yet get off the ground but they can run fast! Once that vulture was able to fly to the top of my swing with its mate, the two gave each other some beak kisses.

6. Four weeks without getting in the big pond may be a record! On 1/30/22 at 12:34 pm, it was 25 degrees F outside! The thermometer in the big pond was frozen in. The one in the 153 gallon pond read 42 degrees F since the de-icer keeps it pretty warm. I could not get in the big pond which is now past due for filter floss and bioball cleaning. I can't risk turning off the pond in such cold in case it would freeze up, not restart, and/or freeze the amphibians overwintering in the biofilter. The four koi are obvious but I haven't seen the goldfish or orfe in weeks. They are presumably in the two shelters hiding them since the heron was around for so long but even he/she has been gone for a few weeks now due to the bitter cold.

I put water and additives in the big pond and water in the 153 gallon pond. The three smaller ponds are frozen solid, killing any tadpoles and snails that were still alive in there. When I hooked up the hose for water, there was ice in the spigot. In my 44 years here, I don't think I've ever seen that! I got the water flowing but then slipped on ice and fell to the ground. I'm getting too old! But, the ponds needs to be kept full. Since they have open water from aeration and de-icers, the water evaporates in to the bitter cold. We got an inch of snow a few days ago, and half is gone from sublimation. That's when it's so cold, windy, and low in humidity that the snow cannot melt but it goes from solid to gas, skipping the liquid form.

Continue to the February 2022 pond blog.

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