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Robyn's Pond Blog for July 2015

Last Updated: 5/25/16

1. I did pond chores on 7/5/15. The 1800 gallon was at 74 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 72 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, changed the PondMaster filters, squirted out the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool, changed the oyster shell, put in additives, etc. Hanging out where I pull up the main pump was a huge spider with stuff on her back which must have been a ball of eggs and/or newborns. I also saw a young female green frog whose back right leg was either deformed or paralyzed. The leg hung loose but there was no sign of injury. It looked like maybe a joint or portion of the leg was missing (not removed just never there).

2. I had to get in the pond the morning of 7/8/15 because the deer must have gotten in there and made a mess! The 5 gallon pot of yellow flag iris which is so heavy on land that I can only drag it in short bursts was actually turned over! They (well, probably a single doe) had eaten most of the iris out of the pot. It grows like mad so it will grow back. "They" also ate some lizard tail and other iris but, of course, didn't touch the rice cut grass (which I don't want, and it's in bloom). There was also a turned over pot with nothing in it so I don't know what was in there.

3. It may be the middle of summer but I linked in some photos of the snow storm from last March! These photos are from 3/7/15. Note that the main waterfall was off at this time due to a previous power outage that froze up the lines.

Big pond - facing southeast.
Big pond - facing south.
Big pond - facing northeast, waterfall area.
Big pond - facing north.
Big pond - facing northwest.
153 gallon pond - facing north.
153 gallon pond - facing west.

Here are some photos from 4/4/15 of the big pond.
Big pond facing northwest. The orfe, goldfish, and koi are in the distance.
Big pond waterfall area with the fish!

I linked in the whooping four photos from the 153 gallon pond cleaning on 4/8/15. They can be seen here.

4. On 7/9/15, I found that presumably a deer had eaten the rest of the yellow flag iris and ALL of my albata waterlily. They made a mess.

5. Yikes! The deer (or mystery animal) that has been getting in my pond went too far on 7/10/15! When I came home, the regular cattails had been annihilated. What wasn't eaten was broken at the base (which will die off). The iris were eaten and torn up. The hardy canna were knocked over. Half the marginals were just gone. It was too much. So, I hauled out an old net and put on a temporary cover over the marginal area.

Update: On 5/25/16, I linked in the photos related to this day when the pond was torn apart. They are in my May 2016 pond blog.

6. On 7/12/15, I pulled both nets off the 1800 gallon pond. The 1800 gallon pond was at 75 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F. The air temperature was 85 degrees F, and I got hot and sweaty. I did the regular pond chores. I squirted off all the pond filters and the bioballs. I had to grab out four frogs in there, three were little babies. They were bouncing babies! After doing regular chores, I tried to clean up some of the destruction in the marginal area. I cut down what was left of the cattails (every single piece was broken). I pulled out the 5 gallon pot of cattails and the 4 gallon pot of yellow flag iris, now with nothing alive on them, just the root balls. I repotted them both and put them back. I only saved three root balls of the cattails and one of the yellow flag (a big one). Three chunks of iris were floating around as was an empty 2 gallon pot so I joined them together. I have no idea which species they are! I put on the full net two months early in order to save the remaining marginals and give the yellow flag iris and regular cattails a chance to recover. Immediately, dragonflies and frogs started getting stuck in it. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

7. Ok, enough is enough! On 7/17/15 while I was at work, some animal walked across the net on the pond, yanked some plants through the net to eat, busted off more plants, tore a hole in the net about a foot in diameter, and pulled out more plants! The two hardy canna and one of the lizard tail can now join the yellow flag iris and regular cattails in being decimated. The dwarf cattails are damaged. I have never known a deer to do this kind of damage in the water but what else could it be that loves to eat plants and can destroy so much?!

8. On 7/18/15, I stepped on something when feeding the fish. Ut oh! I thought I killed someone but the big male green frog was already dead, strangled in the net! This was part of the net that would have been on anyway but still, the nets have their bad side and good side. I can't win!

9. A Cooper's hawk was on our pool cover at 7 am on 7/18/15, and when he stayed all day, I finally got someone to come rescue him after half a dozen calls. I called the rescue on 7/20/15 to find they had "euthanized" him/her because he/she was dying and full of maggots.

10. On 7/19/15, I did pond chores. It was hot, hot, hot! The air temperature was 87 degrees F at 11 am and would go up to 97 degrees F later. The 1800 gallon was at 76 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F. I squirted all the flosses, added water and additives, and so on. I fertilized what remains of the lilies and lotus. Since the net has a big hole in it, I decided to stick the remaining hardy canna through the hole so they had more height. It kind of worked but kind of not. I had to cut down most of the two hardy canna as they were all severely damaged. I found a plant support and tried to prop the net up a bit higher over the plants instead of squishing those that remained.

11. The animals left things alone until the morning of 7/22/15 but I think this time it was the raccoon. The hardy canna that still had some leaves left wasn't further eaten but it was removed from the pot, a few purple iris pots were knocked over, and the net was down. That is more typical raccoon mess. They just don't eat so many plants as I've been seeing.

12. When I got home on 7/22/15, I was feeding the fish and looked up to the big rock that creates the spill rock for the main waterfall. There was a huge turtle there with her head in the water. I thought she might have drowned or would fall in to the main pond and drown or get stuck. I climbed in the weedy waterfall to get her. She was a huge female Eastern box turtle. She had been gulping water. I put her in the weeds about 10 feet away so she can get more water if she wants but hopefully won't fall in or get stuck in the net.

13. In the morning on 7/23/15, the female box turtle was in the pond, hanging on to a section of plumbing in the marginal area! I pulled her out. She stuck around for a few more days. I thought she might be sick (eyes shut too much, maybe some conjunctivitis or a respiratory infection) but wasn't sure if it was better to leave her alone or try to take her to a vet. Then, I stopped seeing her a few days later.

14. I did pond chores on 7/26/15. The air temperature was 85 degrees F, and it felt hot! The 1800 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F (after I added cold water). I squirted all the filter materials per usual, put in additives, topped off the ponds, etc. I changed the PondMaster filters. I finally found some frogfruit as seeds on-line at Etsy and put some in the overflow area. The others I will try to sprout the right way. I used to have frogfruit that I had bought as a plant, and I loved it but it's gone now.

I pulled out the torn up hardy canna now floating around. I put it back in its pot but just filled the pots with rocks as the ground is rock hard right now. Well, by the next afternoon, the canna was floating around again! I think I should give up! You win mystery pond destroyer!

15. On 7/28/15, Freddie (I call all female box turtles Fred or Freddie but can't say for sure if they're the same ones) was in the waterfall overflow area, in the water. She likes it there but I put in a long rock to act as a ramp to get out. She is getting more sick with swollen and goopy eyes. I am going to have to take her to the vet, appointment scheduled for 7/30/15 so stayed tuned!

Continue to the August 2015 pond blog.

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