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Robyn's Pond Blog for May 2019

Last Updated: 6/3/19

1. On 5/2/19, there was a dead 2" goldfish floating in the 1800 gallon pond. It had a heron wound on it. The goldfish had been in the process of changing colors so it had black, orange, and white portions.

2. When I was mowing on 5/2/19, I came across not one, not two, but three adult Eastern box turtles! First was a regular male, then a regular female with some minor carapace damage, and then a huge female with red eyes! At least I think the turtle was female as her plastron was flat and not concave. Most red-eyed box turtles are male but sometimes a female has red eyes.

3. On 5/5/19, it was raining all day. It didn't matter. I still had to do pond work! The air temperature was 60 degrees F but it was dropping. It was raining enough that everything was wet, and I had to wear a baseball cap to keep the water off my glasses. Yet, I was not soaked. The 1800 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted out the Biosteps filter. I squirted all the filter floss around all three pumps in the big pond. I put in additives. I certainly did not need to add water to any ponds. I removed three two gallon pots with nothing alive in them from the 1800 gallon pond.

I got an order of plants from Aquamart on 5/2/19. I ordered them a few months ago, and I was apparently overzealous! Half of the marginals in my pond have died off, mostly due to shade but some due to the fish rooting in them. I put the three water hyacinth and three water lettuce in the floating plant protector on the day that they arrived but I had to pot up a bunch more plants. To add to that, I had gone and bought two more marginals at a plant nursery on 5/2/19 as well (before the box arrived with the others). On 5/5/19, I made up five two gallon pots and four one gallon pots. The two gallons pots had a black gamecock Louisiana water iris (from nursery), a giant papyrus (from nursery), an arrowhead, bluebells, and a white pickerel. The one gallon pots had a water willow, a marsh marigold, a bog bean, and a dwarf cattail. I also got 5 water snowballs (Gymnocoronis species). I took the rubber bands off of them. I put one bunch in the 153 gallon pond in a water iris pot. I put four bunches in various areas of the big pond's waterfall and overflow area in shallow water.

4. The weather was miserable on 5/12/19, cold (52 degrees F) and rainy all day. The 1800 gallon pond was at 62 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 60 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and put in additives including some salt in the big pond since it had rained so much. I certainly did not need to add water to any of the ponds. The Luft pump for the big pond was not working and covered in ants so I switched it for the one I use in the 153 gallon pond in the winter. The outlet for the big pond was also full of ants trying to get out of the rain. I taped a fresh fipronil ant trap in there and sprayed them with citrus oil.

5. It was hot on 5/19/19 when I did pond chores, almost 90 degrees F and humid. The 1800 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and the bioballs. I ran out of time to pot up the tropical waterlily tubers.

6. I did some pond work the morning of 5/26/19. It was already 80 degrees F at 10:30 am. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees. I squirted off all the filter materials, put in additives, and topped off all the ponds. I finally potted up the tropical waterlily in to a 3 gallon pot.

7. At 9 pm on 5/26/19, a storm unlike any that I have experienced occurred. First, there was a lot of lighting. Then, large hail hit all the windows, coming in from the side. It became so loud (not really a freight train though), and I could feel the air being sucked from the house. I went to the door of the basement for a while. It didn't last long but the results were devastating. The power was out. My 1800 gallon pond was completed covered many feet deep in mostly tulip poplar branches. The tops of half a dozen 40+ year old trees were peeled off. The power came back pretty quickly at 1:30 am so I went out to the pond and was able to see enough through the trees to see it was safe to turn on the filters and get some oxygen to the fish. I saw one orfe, and he/she was gasping for air. The only worse storm we ever had was the derecho of July 2012 which took the tops off of more than a dozen huge trees and also put tulip poplar in my pond although not as many as this time. That storm suffocated one of my large orfe when the generator that we had would not start. I was working on the trees by dawn, and my brother came a few hours later. By lunch time, the pond was free. All the marginals were crushed. Some had been four or more feet tall with flowers. Now, they were all squished down in the water. Both of my trellises by the pond were annhilated. All the plant cages were crushed. Many of the land plants were damaged. The news didn't say anything about a tornado but I know that's what it was. The neighbors agree. The houses were plastered with shards of leaves stuck all over them. Every inch of ground had leaves, sticks, and debris. The clean up will take a very long time even if I hire someone to help.

Continue to the June 2019 pond blog.

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