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Robyn's Pond Blog for August 2019

Last Updated: 9/1/19

1. On 8/4/19, I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 77 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 74 degrees F. We had gotten an inch of rain during the night (first rain in 10 days) so I did not have to add water to the ponds. I squirted off all the filter materials and put in additives.

2. It was only in the low 80's on 8/11/19 making it bareable to work on the ponds. Both the 1800 gallon and 153 gallon pond thermometers read 75 degrees F. Before I started on the usual work, I removed about four wheel barrows full of mostly Japanese stiltgrass. I call it weed grass. It's everywhere. I worked on removing the vegetation from around the "wicking zone." That is the area where pond meets land, and the most likely place that I am losing water. The pond's water level was down at least three inches in just a few days. Any plants that contact both land and water can draw water outside of the lined area. Also, the root systems are clogging up the usual path for the water so more water is flowing outside of the lined area. Due to the rooting koi and the shade, I no longer have waterlily pads and floaters all over the pond this time of the year. You would think then that the pond water would be green but it's not due to the shade and the truckload of plants growing in the waterfall (and wicking out the water). The plants include water celery that is supposed to be there as well as invasive plants like the Japanese stiltgrass and multiflora rose.

I squirted off all the filter materials and the bioballs. I added water and additives to all of the ponds. We have not been getting much rain for the last month.

3. The air temperature was 87 degrees F with very high humidity on 8/18/19 when I did pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was up to 80 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 76 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials, added water, and added additives. I uprighted the hardy canna which keeps falling over. It was too hot to do much more.

4. When I went out to the pond on 8/23/19, water was shooting in the air from the auxiliary pump that adds flow to the waterfall. I unplugged it, and soon thereafter got in the pond in my hip waders to reattach the tubing.

5. I did pond chores on 8/25/19. The air temperature was a nice 74 degrees F! Both the thermometers in the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds read 72 degrees F. I changed the PondMaster filters. I squirted out the matala in the Biosteps filter. I squired the other filter flosses around the three pumps. While I was putting stuff on the porches, a mating pair of damselflies fell on my hand. Alas, my camera was not near. I topped off all the ponds and put in additives.

6. I have had ponds for 23 years, and I have mostly seen it all but not quite. When I went out to feed the fish their afternoon food on 8/26/19, there was a dead fox in my 153 gallon pond. Once I realized what I was seeing, I went in to the house to get a camera to document it and a pair of disposable gloves to remove her. I pulled her out and determined that she was a female (little vixen) maybe four months old but probably born this spring. She seemed to otherwise be in good health. I pumped her chest a little to see if I could get a response. I don't know how long she was in there but there was no rigor mortis yet. I put her in the back of the property where nature would use what remained of her. She had been coming by in the mornings (and even sometimes mid-day) to eat bird seed below the feeder and cat food from my cat, King Tut's, dish. The pond has a deep end where the fountain is and where she was. Then, there are two marginal plant areas that are shallow. Smaller animals can get up on the pots and also go out an outflow area that I made that's a few inches high (good for newly-morphed frogs and toads). She was just too big to get a footing up in to the marginal areas. She either fell in the deep end or thought maybe she could walk on the fountain and plants. Before this, the largest animals that had drowned in the past were a few songbirds in the big pond which has even more ways for animals to get out.

Continue to the September 2019 pond blog.

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