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Robyn's Pond Blog for June 2016

Last Updated: 1/15/18

1. The morning of 6/2/16, one of the waterlily protectors was loose from the pot and floating around. I got in to put it back. I put it on the new Comanche hardy waterlily so now the Chromatella is unprotected. The fish already ripped a tuber out of it before I got in!

2. On 6/5/16, I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 73 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials. I put the third waterlily protector over the Chromatella hardy waterlily. There is this strange algae in my waterfall area that I have a ton of because the deer have eaten all the water celery and watercress. In the water, it's very dense and very soft but tends to smother things. Out of the water, it can be spread out in sheets with multi-sided squares, octagons, I'm not sure. There's a lot of open space inside each ring of algae. Strange. This is one of those things that you can't find on the internet because the key words pull up too many irrelevant things.

3. I did pond chores on 6/12/16. The 1800 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 71 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and the bioballs which were thick with sludge (aka pond gold). The water iris are finishing up blooming. For the first time, I didn't take photos due to lack of time and because nobody cares.

4. When I came home from work on 6/17/16, the pond plants had been attacked again. I had to take GK to the vet and didn't have time to deal with it. The next day, I put more ropes out.

5. I did pond chores on 6/19/16. It was about 86 degrees F in the air, too hot for me. The 1800 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F. I pumped out the Biosteps filter. There were about a dozen young green frog tadpoles in there. I tried to save them but there was no way that I could and still clean the filter. When I netted them up and dumped it on the ground, they vanished in the layer of black slop. This filter was much dirtier than the last clean out with a thick once layer of slop on the bottom. I changed the filter material around the main pump. I squirted off all the other flosses. I added water and additives. I fertilized the five lilies in the big pond only. I fixed the protector over the Albata which was dislodged. The fish have been getting in the protectors and messing them up. I've had to net fish out of them three times since using them. This last time, it was Nikita, a big koi stuck in there.

I finally got a better look at the most recent attack on the pond plants. The following plants were 100% destroyed: my new plantain (couldn't even find what was left of it), one of the pickerel rush and one of the canna. The following plants were partially eaten: lizard tail, the other pickerel rush, and various iris. The following plants were ripped out of their pots: various iris and the missing plantain and destroyed canna. I pulled out the one gallon pot the plantain had been in and a two gallon pot. There were about four pots turned over. One had the remnants of I think a pickerel rush. I just left it as is. I put some of the loose iris parts in one of the two gallon pots. In the other, I potted up a large root system. I think it was from the hardy canna although there was nothing green left to definitively identify it. I so feel like just giving up! I have the feeling that all this damage this year and last is from a new, now two-year-old buck. He is more adventurous than all the past deer. I have yet to catch him in the pond but I see him every few days eating my land plants and weeds.

6. The morning of 6/26/16, the great blue heron was standing in the overflow water of my pond, on the outside of the new rope fence. So, mayhaps it is working for that if not the deer.

7. I did pond work on 6/27/16. The 1800 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted off all the other filters. When I dumped a couple buckets of this new, weird algae (it is like green cheesecloth but very soft), I saw something move. Amazing! A baby salamander! No, there are no gills. It was less than a half inch long but no gills so it is an adult, maybe just left the water and came back. Are tiny salamanders breeding in my pond! Amazing again I say! You'd think after 19 years, there wouldn't be any more pond surprises. Looking at field guides, I thought this one and the larger one in my filter were Northern dusky salamanders. [On 1/15/18, I decided that they were two-lined salamanders as an expert identified new photos of one as such.]

Continue to the July 2016 pond blog.

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