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Robyn's Pond Blog for December 2009

Last Updated: 11/29/10

1. On 12/5/09, the snow flew! I had intended to do the following on the next day but the snow came down, so I had to run around and do these things fast. First, I pulled the white net off the 153 gallon pond. It was soaking wet and muddy but I bagged it up. Then, I detached the net on the 1800 gallon pond and pulled it back off the waterfall area. Later, I put in both de-icers after testing them. I also put out a lighted penguin by the 1800 gallon pond to tell at a glance if the power was working out there. The moving deer from last year was thrown away as it was busted beyond repair after just one winter. I covered the de-icer in the 1800 gallon pond's biofilter with the green plastic storage box lid and held it down with two four pond lead diver's weights. By the afternoon, the snow depth ranged from nothing in some muddy areas to about four inches on my car and the roofs. I am not sure what, if anything, I will be able to do by the pond tomorrow. Stay tuned!

2. I put these photos on my site on 12/5/09:

When I pulled out my new tropical waterlily from the pond on 11/15/09, I found that it had two little nut tubers which I put in damp sand. Perhaps they will make it! I also saved the growing part and put that in my basement pond. Here is a photo of them.
Waterlily storage tubers and growing tip

This aquatic beetle larvae of unknown species was stuck in the filter material from my 153 gallon pond filter on 11/15/09. He was bent over backwards and biting at the filter material that was holding his rear down.
Beetle larvae

3. Well, the snow did not melt by the afternoon of 12/6/09. The depth ranged from nothing to four inches or more on cold surfaces. I could not move the net or get in the pond. If I could have, I would have squirted off the flosses, squirted the bioballs, and pulled out a dead waterlily that the fish dumped in the deep end. As it stands, that will have to wait for the first Sunday that I can get in the pond. It's supposed to be cold next weekend too. All I did do was add some BZT to the ponds and read the thermometers. The 1800 gallon's thermometer was right under a melted area so I could pull it up through the holes in the net and turn it to read that it was 39 degrees F in there. The 153 gallon pond was a toasty 46 degrees F. The air temperature was about 26 degrees F at dawn and up to 40 degrees F in the afternoon. Winter has arrived! I noticed a longfin white comet in the 1800 gallon pond who looked awful. Her sides were shredded with some fungus growing. It looked like someone put her through a cheese grater. With the net on and no spawning this time of the year, I don't have a clue what happened to her.

4. On 12/13/09, while I cleaned the house and decorated for Christmas, it was pouring rain outside. Finally, when I went outside to do some late pond chores around 3 pm, the rain had let up. The air temperature was in the high 30's. The 1800 gallon was at 37 degrees F and the 153 gallon at 45 degrees F (the de-icer keeps it warmer). I squirted off the flosses and the bioballs while I could. The tub ponds were still frozen but I could get in to the 1800 gallon which had ice over about a third of the pond. I removed the five gallon pot from the deep end that used to have a waterlily in it (it died); the fish had dumped half the dirt in there already. I collected what leaves that I could off the net and out of the water. I cut down the last iris, the big yellow flag iris in the middle of the 1800 gallon pond. I also cut down the marsh mallow on the land next to the pond. The water in the waterfall wasn't flowing like I'd like so I started moving and pulling dead (and some living) plants including watercress, water celery, and lemon balm (a mint). There was water flowing between rocks where I normally don't see it so I played with the rock that sits at the edge of the mini pond right above the main waterfall. Just by shifting it, the water down the main falls changed from a low flow to a good flow. The water that was going elsewhere slowed down. With time, gravity, plants growing, and animals walking on them, the unattached rocks shift quite a bit.

5. On 12/16/09, I went to the ER for the fourth time in a little over a year. I had major surgery on 12/18/09. They removed an endometrioma that had grown on my appendix and in to my small and large bowel, causing a bowel obstruction. I have three laparascopy scars and one 4" laparatomy scar. I have never been so weak in my life and in so much pain. I came home on 12/22/09 but couldn't even get up to walk for more than a minute until 12/26/09 when I managed to clean a few fish tanks in bad shape (me and the tanks!). The day after I came home, I begged to go out in the snow (we had about 24 inches of snow on 12/19/09 but I missed it all and never measured the depth officially) to check the pond. I knew it was wrong from the window. Well, it was 75% empty! None of my family even were checking the pond. My mother got out the hose, and I squirted down the waterfall melting the snow from there. I mostly filled the pond and went inside to pass out from way more work than I should have done. It was an emergency. It went way below freezing that night, and the fish would have started to die in under a foot of water. I didn't go back outside until 12/27/09 when I again shifted that rock previously mentioned which again changed the water flow pattern. I'm guessing the snow weight shifted rocks and diverted a lot of water. It may be weeks before I can tend to the ponds but at least they're dormant. I can't reach down and remove the leaves in any of the ponds. All I can do is wait to be functional again and hope nothing else goes wrong.

6. On 12/31/09, I awoke to two inches of unexpected snow. I have yet to do anything with the outdoor ponds but have caught up on the important indoor animal chores.

Continue to the January 2010 pond blog.

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