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Robyn's Pond Blog for February 2021

Last Updated: 3/7/21

1. On 2/7/21, we got two inches of heavy, wet snow in the morning. At 3:07 pm, I went outside to the ponds. The thermometer for the big pond was not accessible. For the 153 gallon pond, it was at 44 degrees F. The air temperature was 40 degrees F. The ponds did not need any water. I did not put in additives. I could not get in the big pond if I had wanted to as the net was weighted down in heavy snow. If I had an emergency, I could enter from the deep end but it's a bit dangerous for me to do so. I'm getting too old! I did pick up a half dozen leaves out of the waterfall so I'm not completely useless (to the pond).

2. On 2/11/21, we got 5" of snow. I still had to go to work and was only 15 minutes late.

3. On 2/14/21, even though the air temperature was up to 36 degrees F by 3:24 pm, the ponds were still mostly encased in snow and ice so I could not get in the big pond or do much of anything. The thermometer was frozen in the 1800 gallon pond (not in the water but up under the net). The thermometer in the 153 gallon pond read 44 degrees F. I am way behind on maintenance because the weather has been so winter-like which hasn't been the case in years. I did put in a few cups of pond salt in the big pond.

4. On 2/18/21, we got mostly two inches of sleet with some ice and snow mixed in. It melted just enough the next day to become a solid deep block of ice. In order to get from one place to another on the property that wasn't flat, I would sit down and slide. Now, going uphill was basically impossible!

5. On 2/21/21, I was way past due for so much pond work but I could barely walk to the pond! I certainly couldn't get in as the net was held on with many inches of solid ice. At 1:11 pm, the air temperature was 36 degrees F. The thermometer was not accessible in the big pond but it was a toasty 46 degrees F in the 153 gallon. I threw some pond salt on the icy parts of the big pond to help melt it and add salt once it melted. I was only outside for a few minutes.

6. By 2/28/21, it had been four weeks since I had been in the 1800 gallon pond! That has only happened a few times since the pond was built in 1997. The air temperature was finally warm enough at 43 degrees F at 1:10 pm. The only problem? It was raining moderately all day! So, I put long johns under my sweat pants and shirt and put a rain coat over that, and I had a cap on my head to keep my eyeglasses dry. I had to take off the rain coat when I got in the pond for various reasons. In the end, I was soaked.

The 1800 gallon was at 48 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 46 degrees F. I removed some leaves. I got in the big pond and got the filter floss out and squirted that off. I squirted off the bioballs (weeks past due). There were half a dozen pickerel frogs or so in the filter. I just left them in the bottom. I hope none get stuck down there. The snow and ice is mostly melted from ten days ago now. I changed the Ammocarb and oyster shell in the biofilter.

All of a sudden, spring is coming, and the tasks at hand are infinite but I'm forced to spend most of my time at my "job." They think I'm lazy because I "only" work 40 hours a week there but I work non-stop at home with hundreds of animals. I'm so exhausted and behind on everything. The rocks around the biofilter have all collapsed further. Since I cannot afford to pay someone to fix them, I plan to work on it when it's warm enough but I need a block of time that I don't have. I have given up on my "gardens;" they're all just piles of weeds now. It takes hours and hours to weed and mulch that I don't have. When my parents were alive and still healthy, they did some tasks and chores (although never mulching) but I have to do it all now as I myself become more and more decrepit. I always knew I would get older but I never thought I would no longer be able to do things so soon. I have bad arthritis in my knees which creak as I go up stairs. I can barely get out of the pond any longer. There are no handicapped railings to help me out! I will be so upset when it gets to the point that I can no longer tend to my ponds and will have to let them go to pot. I will not have enough money to pay anyone else to tend to them (and wouldn't trust them anyway!).

Continue to the March 2021 pond blog.

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