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Robyn's Pond Blog for October 2017

Last Updated: 10/30/17

1. I did pond chores on 10/1/17. First thing in the morning, I put in another half an hour of water, and then about 25 minutes worth in the late afternoon, hoping the well would hold up. At the end of the day, the pond was still maybe eight inches low but much better. Around 1 pm, I did the usual pond chores. The 1800 gallon pond was at 61 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 63 degrees F. I filled up all the ponds, put in additives, and squirted off all the filter materials.

2. On 10/8/17, even though it was a little rainy for the first time in over a month, it was 80 degrees F with 100% humidity and very uncomfortable outside. The 1800 gallon pond was at 72 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds, squirted all the filter materials, squirted the bioballs, and put in additives. In the 153 gallon pond, I found a huge, dead 4 or 5 inch male green frog. I don't know if he got stuck in the net at some point but he was all bloated. I changed the oyster shell in the biofilter.

When I went to move the rock to open the drain for the biofilter of the big pond, I saw a salamander! It was orange-yellow with black spots and about three inches long! By the time my brain registered what I was looking at, it was gone. While it is possible it was a differently colored eft (red spotted newt) or two-lined salamander (I saw no line, and that species does not get as big as what I saw), it actually looked most like the long-tailed salamander (Eurycea longicauda longicauda. This is a new species sighting for me! Yeah! It's too bad he/she didn't wait for a photo because you probably don't believe me. So, aside from the Eastern newts I put in my pond, I have had believed sightings of dusky salamanders, two-lined salamanders, and now this long-tailed salamander. It only took 20 years before the salamanders found my ponds!

Later in the day, when I went for a short walk, I went out to the community road, and I'm glad I did because a box turtle was crossing the road. And, it was a girl! This is the first female I've seen since Freddie died in 2015. I moved her further in to our property so she wouldn't get hit. She has a scar, probably from a lawn mower but it didn't require treatment. She was scared, keeping her head in but I knew she was a female by her flat plastron

3. When I went to check on the pond on 10/9/17, the remnants of Hurricane Nate were coming through so it was windy and pouring rain. The tubing came off the auxiliary pump but, luckily, it was just spouting in place so the pond at least did not lose water. I just unplugged the pump and plan to get in after work to fix it.

4. I did pond work on 10/15/17. The 1800 gallon pond was at 67 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 66 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds, squirted all the filter materials, and put in additives.

5. On 10/22/17, I did pond work. The 1800 gallon pond was at 58 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 60 degrees F. I topped off all the ponds, squirted all the filter materials, and put in additives. I changed the PondMaster filters one more time for the year. I changed the Ammocarb in the biofilter. I removed the auxiliary pump for the year. It was still so warm, in the 70's so I will wait a week to remove the Biosteps filter. I removed the last two waterlily hoop protectors. Only a few leaves remain on the hardy waterlilies. The tropical waterlily, which never bloomed, has lots of big leaves which will remain until it gets cold.

As I was finishing up, I saw a big green frog stuck in the net. The net was on his torso so there was only one solution that would save his life. I cut the net. The resulting hole will probably grow but I'd rather have a holey net than lose a frog.

6. I did pond work on 10/29/17. Both the 1800 and 153 gallon pond thermometers read 60 degrees F. I took the Biosteps filter apart for the winter. I squirted all the remaining filter materials and put in a few additives.

Continue to the November 2017 pond blog.

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