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Robyn's Pond Blog for September 2010

Last Updated: 10/10/12

1. On 9/5/10, I changed the filter material/floss around the main pump. The 1800 gallon was at 68 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 71 degrees F. I fertilized the lilies and lotus. The lotus cut my arm in a few places since the stalks have little spikes on them. As for the other plants, I couldn't get to them very well; and pushing pills in to the gravel and dirt was really impossible so I tossed some pills on some pots. Of course, some of that fertilizer will feed algae because it's not down in the pot. The pond is clear but has a lot of short, hairy algae on the liner this year because the water lettuce and water hyacinth never reproduced as they have in the past. In fact, the water hyacinth is all gone and only a dozen or so water lettuce are in the marginal area. The last few years, by this time of the year, the water lettuce covered the entire pond, and I was tossing it by the wheelbarrow full!

There was a dead male goldfinch in the shallow area where the smaller waterfall comes out, where all the honeybees come for water. Since he was decapitated and chewed on, I am guessing either my cat, GK, or the raccoon got him (as opposed to the bees or drowning).

Since it hasn't worked in a while, I removed the dead pump in the 50 gallon pond and threw that away.

2. On 9/6/10, in keeping with Labor Day tradition, I repotted my yellow flag iris. It only took about an hour. The tops all had to be cut off to even get it out of the pond. The four gallon pot is strong, and I got to use it again as the plants did come out. I threw away most of it, saving two jumped pieces for the repotting. By jumped pieces, I mean ones where the roots are hanging out of the pot along with the tops. I couldn't find the other iris as they need repotting too (more for health though since they are barely alive). I will look more for them later.

3. On feeding the fish the next morning, 9/7/10, I discovered the raccoon didn't approve of my repotting job and unpotted the iris! That evening, I would have to get back in and pot it again.

4. Well, the morning of 9/8/10, not only had the raccoon unpotted the same iris again but the other one in the pot as well! I will have to get in tonight and completely take the pot out, remove the rocks and dirt, and really jam those iris down in there. I am not finding this raccoon game fun.

5. On 9/12/10, I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs in the rain. The 1800 gallon was at 65 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 67 degrees F. I changed the Ammocarb and crushed oyster shell in the filter. Due to the rain, I didn't cut down the rice cut grass and yellow flag iris in the overflow or put up the mosaic pond for the year but plan to do those things next week.

6. Photo time!

Big pond marginal area on 8/11/10. You can see the Cyprio filter, the net over the deep end, and the marginal area which includes huge lotus, cattails, hardy canna, and yellow flag iris.

Tropical waterlily flower (Blue Beauty) on 8/15/10.

Pink pickerel weed flower on 8/16/10. This spire on my first tropical pickerel weed was on its second day of blooming so it was not as open as on the first day.

American toad at the Maryland Zoo on 8/19/10.

On 8/19/10, four years after seeing a snapping turtle basking at a pond at the Maryland Zoo, we returned to find perhaps the same turtle basking just the same!
Snapping turtle basking from a distance.
Snapping turtle - close-up of the previous photo.
Snapping turtle basking from a different view (just the close-up).

Pond at the Maryland Zoo on 8/19/10, 100% covered in duckweed.

Ten Canada geese and two ducks (probably mallards) at sunset on the water in Zoo America (attached to Hershey Park) on 8/27/10.

7. On 9/19/10, I squirted off the flosses and the Cyprio biothings in the kiddie pool. The 1800 gallon was at 66 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 67 degrees F. The pump tubing at the main pump popped off while I was in there so I had to go get a screw driver and try to jam it back on. I put up the Luft pump in the 1800 gallon for the year (it will go in to the 153 gallon pond in a few months for winter). I put up the mosaic pond on the front porch for the year. It was pretty dirty thanks to the raccoons bathing in it. I cut down the yellow flag iris and rice cut grass in the overflow area of the pond. I accidently pulled up some of my favorite frog fruit (that is the name of an emergent running plant) so I had to jam that back down in to the water. I changed the PondMaster filters.

8. Arey took these photos of a lot of fish-eating water birds together (posted 8/29/10). It is every fish pond owner's nightmare mix of birds!
Lots of birds - In the center is a great blue heron, on the left a great egret, a few smaller snowy egrets, lots of glossy ibis (wading black birds), and cormorants under the water (just their snake-like heads sticking up).
Lots of birds - From left to right are a great egret, a great blue heron, glossy ibis, a snowy egret, and the cormorants in the water.

9. On 9/26/10, I squirted off all the flosses. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon ponds were at 68 degrees F. I pulled all the dewhickeys out of the 1800 and 153 gallon pond and those that were around the edges of those ponds. I tried to get up most of the leaves in those ponds and around the edges. That was all because I put the nets on both ponds, about a week earlier than usual. Due to the drought, the leaves are coming down pretty good so I wanted to get it taken care of now. I cut down one of the dwarf cattails and parts of the hardy canna, lotus, and regular cattails that were yellow or otherwise flopped over and/or rotten. I found a dead male wood frog in the overflow but later would see a female wood frog about 10 feet from the pond. It was a rainy day so perhaps that brought them out. An iris pot in the 153 gallon pond I discovered had been dumped, probably a while back by the raccoon (it was out of view). I put some more gravel in the pot and tried to hold down the tubers that way instead of doing a total repot. In the 1800 gallon pond, the raccoon(s) also unpotted one of the lizard tail plants. I tried to jam it down in to the mud. The arum pot had been knocked over so long ago that it was growing crooked.

Continue to the October 2010 pond blog.

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