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Robyn's Pond Blog for September 2016

Last Updated: 10/3/16

1. On 9/4/16, I did pond chores. Both thermometers read 72 degrees F. I squirted all the flosses and the bioballs. I put fresh oyster shell in its bag in the main filter. The ponds are a mess as are all my gardens. The weeds have won. As I get hardly any time off of work, and I am getting older and weaker, this will only continue to worsen.

2. On 9/8/16, I installed a replacement supplemental pump for the main waterfall. I had taken the old one apart. A few of the plastic parts inside were broken which is why the magnet would spin but it didn't pump anything. I didn't have a spare for this MagDrive 1200 gph pump. Now, I remember why. It was $150!

2. On 9/11/16, I did pond chores. Both thermometers read 78 degrees F. I pumped out the Biosteps filter and cleaned it out. I squirted off all the filter materials. I fertilized the water lilies in the big pond only.

3. The weather girl said that it was going to rain starting in the early afternoon on 9/18/16 (we really need rain; I can't plant the bulbs I got as the ground is rock hard) but, since I changed my schedule and did outdoor work first, I got a few drops, and then, there was no rain until the day was ended. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon thermometers were at 70 degrees F but that was after I added water to the 153 gallon as I forgot to read it before. I squirted all the filter materials and changed the filter floss around the main OASE Nautilus pump (that pump is 19 years old and has never failed, running non-stop except one recent year when I had to turn off the waterfall for two months due to a power outage when the pond was frozen!). I removed what Japanese stilt grass and other weeds that I could from the edges of the ponds so that I could net both ponds about a week early as I'll be busy with a relative's birthday party next weekend, and I get so little time off of my official job. Due to that lack of time off, I am ashamed of all my gardens. They are disasters. The groundhog ate the plastic off the top of the one bag of mulch by my pond so I spread that over one spot I attempted to weed two weeks ago. If I'd left the open bag there, and then it rained, it would have been a mess. I removed one of the waterlily protectors because, without fail, the fish remove it every single week anyway. That lily, an Albata, never flowered this year but it's still alive. The fish killed one of the three tropical waterlilies by digging at it (no protector on that one; those protectors are expensive and take up a LOT of room in the pond). I removed a one gallon pot that was mostly empty as I have righted it half a dozen times in a few weeks but the raccoon keeps dumping it. I don't know what unlucky plant was originally in there.

This year, I knew to put down the green Rubbermaid tub lid over the biofilter with the leaf net on top. Last year, without it there, the leaf net got heavy with leaves, lowered down in to the biofilter, blocked the main outflow, and the pump pushed half the pond's volume out the sides of the filter and out of the pond. Also, this year I have three stakes up that I had tied ropes to to deter the presumable deer that kept getting in the pond and ransacking it. I removed the ropes and draped the full pond net over the two stakes at the south end. This had the gread benefit of elevating the net above the marginals, especially the tallest hardy water canna. The regular cattails were killed in 2015 by the aforementioned deer swashbuckler; they used to be the tallest marginals. Anyway, the canna didn't have to either be cut or squished just yet. Before the snow flies, the marginals will be cut down, and I will lower the net to ground level.

There are a lot of milkweed bugs on my milkweed. They are pretty. I took photos to process if computers are still relevant when I have time when I retire in 23 years. I hope I am just being facetious. Is anybody reading this?

4. Here are some photos sent to me recently.

Vince in the UK sent this photo on 9/18/16 that I believe to be some species of stonefly that has just left the water. As such, the wings are not yet evident but the insect also does not look like the larvae. Correct me if I am wrong as I am not an entomologist!
Green stonefly

Stacy in Maine sent these photos on 9/2/16 for identification. It is a bryozoan colony.
Bryozoan out of the water.
Bryozoan in the water.

On 7/27/16, Elizabeth in New Hampshire sent his photo for identification. It looks similar to the caddisfly eggs at the bottom of my main insect page as well as others that I have seen.
Caddisfly eggs

5. I did pond chores on 9/25/16. The 1800 gallon was at 66 degrees F, and the 153 gallon was at 68 degrees F. I used fishing line to sew a new large hole in the net over the 153 gallon pond. It wasn't there when I took the net off the big pond last week. Somebody chewed their way in! I squirted all the filter materials. I put additives in the ponds and topped them all off with water since we haven't had any real rain in over a month. I had new bulbs to plant but I can't break the ground; it's hard as a rock. I cut the first yellow leaf of the hardy canna in the pond. With the leaf net elevated this year, I don't have to cut the plants too early, just before it snows.

Continue to the October 2016 pond blog.

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