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Robyn's Pond Blog for October 2021

Last Updated: 11/7/21

1. When I looked out the window at the pond at dawn on 10/3/21, the main pump was fountaining up into the air again! Instead of rushing out to fix it, I unplugged it and finished all my morning animal chores first. Then, I just did my Sunday pond chores early. At 8:40 am I started, and it was 60 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 62 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. I squirted off all the filter materials. I had a new "drain" adapter for the main pump. It seemed so much bigger and loose at first so I went inside to try to find one like the one I was replacing, and I had no more. The old one was no longer flexible which is why it kept coming off. I just looked up my records, and the connector was actually ten years old! I thought it was relatively new but I guess not.

I fertilized the two waterlilies that still had leaves. Or, rather I tried to jam Pondtabbs in the pots but couldn't really penetrate the surface. I no longer fertilize marginals except during repotting. It's all just too hard and time consuming as I'm getting older.

2. I got a late start on 10/10/21 since I went to a tour of a local solar farm. At 2:52 pm, the air temperature was 68 degrees F. The 1800 gallon pond was at 70 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 68 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials, put in additives, and topped off the ponds.

3. On 10/17/21 at 1:28 pm, it was 60 degrees F outside and windy. The 1800 gallon pond was at 63 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 64 degrees F. I squirted all the filter materials and the bioballs. I put in additives and topped off all the ponds. I brought in the tropical water canna that was in a pot on the pool deck for the winter. I had brought in a tropical water hibiscus in a pot the day before. The only tropical water plants still outside are two bluebells (one in the pond, one in a pot, both equally huge) and the one tropical waterlily.

4. At 1 pm on 10/24/21, the air temperature was 60 degrees F, and both thermometers read 60 degrees F!. I think this is the first time all three temperatures were the same. I finished collecting most of the yard doohickeys to go inside for the winter. I brought in the bluebells growing in the pot to the basement for the winter. I have another batch of them in the pond yet to move. I changed the PondMaster filter. I dismantled the Biosteps filter and put all the parts on the back porch to dry out before I bring them in. I squirted off all the filter materials. I removed the floating plant ring (empty of plants; somebody dumped the water lettuce out of it) which is torn so I need to order another one. I found and removed a dead rodent from my big pond. It might have been a vole. It was slightly larger and stockier than a field mouse but with long brown fur and a short tail. The head though looked like a rat so I thought it might be a juvenile woodrat. Many years ago, one of my outdoor cats killed an adult woodrat.

5. On 10/31/21, at 2:15 pm, the air temperature was at 62 degrees F. Both thermometers in the two larger ponds read 60 degrees F. I removed the auxiliary pump and noticed that the support for the impellor (face plate?) is damaged which is probably why the pump has barely been working. If I can't get a new front piece for the pump, I will need a new expensive pump before spring. I squirted the filter materials. I collected the stepping stones to bring in before any freezing damages them.

There was a dying large dragonfly floating in the big pond when I got in. The Seek app said it was a Shadow Darner.

I needed to remove the bluebells from the pond. It was hard. First, I ripped apart the new hardy canna which was unknowingly in the way when I was pulling on the mass of bluebells. The pot of bluebells was over 40 pounds, past the maximum I can carry. I left behind a bunch that had rooted outside the pot. I am curious if any of it will survive since it is supposed to be a tropical. It took all my strength to get the pot which mass of bluebells to the basement. The plant light area was already full so they got dumped outside the zone where they will probably get enough light to do well. But, they just have to survive six months, not thrive. There are a lot of "water" roots now hanging out in the air dry. I have no space or time to set up a pond in the basement like I used to do. There are too many plants that need what little light there is. So, a large percentage of the bluebell wad will probably die which is fine because it is huge.

Continue to the November 2021 pond blog.

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