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Robyn's Pond Blog for December 2017

Last Updated: 11/19/18

1. I did some pond work on 12/3/17. I bought two single lighted candycanes and plugged them in to the pond outlet which lets me know with a glance if there is power out there (that nothing has tripped the pond breaker). The 1800 gallon pond was at 48 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 44 degrees F. The air temperature was 52 degrees F but it is supposed to go way down by the end of the next week. I got in the water and took out the main filter floss and squirted it off. There were two pickerel frogs in the basket. I finally brought out the 5 gallon pot with the tropical waterlily in it. I couldn't find any nut tubers from the surface so I had to dump the entire pot and squeeze through the dirt to find one tuber, about the size of a walnut. I put the biggest rocks back in the pot after I squirted it out and put it back in the pond because it is used to weigh down the fish's plastic hideout. Otherwise, it floats away.

2. My guinea pig, Abby, died on 12/9/17 from cancer at the age of 6 years, 7 months.

3. The morning of 12/10/17, I measured 4.5 inches of snow on my cement pond bench but it was mostly 3 inches on the grass, most of which fell the day before. I didn't get a chance to pull the net off the 153 gallon pond or the 1800 gallon pond waterfall before the snow flew. There was no getting it moved for the big pond but I did manage to get it off the smaller pond. It has to be removed so that birds and other wildlife can drink when all the other ponds are frozen solid. It's going to get cold! Once the nets freeze in, there's no getting them off. I couldn't do anything else pond related. The thermometer in the big pond was trapped in the ice and snow but the one in the 153 gallon pond read a warm 44 degrees F, perhaps due to being near the de-icer.

4. It was actually pretty warm on 12/17/17, 50 degrees F. I got in the pond. The 1800 gallon pond was at 41 degrees F, and the 153 gallon pond was at 43 degrees F. I put up the net from the 153 gallon pond that had been sitting outside all week. I tried to rake leaves from around the 1800 gallon pond, and then I pulled the net back off the waterfall. It was frozen in the overflow area but otherwise, I could move it. I cut down some perennials near the biofilter to aid in the leaf removal. I can't believe I used to sit down and hand collect leaves from around the pond in my younger days. I can't do that now. I just rake what I can. Many leaves will end up in the pond but I have no time or physical endurance anymore to pick them up before they blow in. All it takes is one of those days of hell winds, and leaves from hundreds of feet away end up in the pond anyway so I can't worry about the hundreds of leaves within 10 feet of the pond. I squirted off the main filter floss and the bioballs. There was a salamander and frogs in the filter. I got the salamander in to a bucket and took photos. I think this may be the same baby I found a few years back, all grown up. I think it's a dusky salamander. Who knows when I'll get those photos processed. I'm only two years behind on photo processing. I moved two large pickerel frogs to the main pond but let a few small ones stay in the bottom of the filter during and after cleaning. They should be able to make their way back up the filter.

5. On 12/24/17, I did a little bit of pond work but didn't get in the pond. The air temperature was 40 degrees F after being 60 degrees F the day before! The 1800 gallon's thermometer read 48 degrees F while that in the 153 gallon pond read 45 degrees F. I cut down some golden rod and weeds around the 153 gallon pond. I raked up some leaves from around the big pond. I topped off the ponds and put in some additives.

6. On 12/31/17, it was way too cold to do anything! The air temperature was at 16 degrees F at 10:30 am. The thermometer was frozen in the big pond. The one in the 153 gallon pond read 40 degrees F as the de-icer keeps it warmer.

Continue to the January 2018 pond blog.

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