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Water Gardens: Fall and Winter

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2011
10:11 AM

Post #8783077

Thought a new thread talking about where we are with our ponds as we head into fall and winter would be interesting. I suspect it will reverse the pattern we have seen with flowers. This morning it is clear with 48F out doors and 59F in the pond. It will, of course, go up with the sun and I will check again this afternoon late. It was warm in the afternoon sun yesterday. A friend visiting from Arizona said it was 108F at his home while we were probably 70F yesterday afternoon. Fish are feeding like piranha.
DavEdsel
Amherst, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2011
10:15 AM

Post #8783086

Hello, mstella.

My wife designed our new pond last October to run all winter, which it did. The pond is 3 foot + deep and the pump sits on the bottom in a net. We float a de-icer and it was great this past winter to look out and see the snow up around the pond. At the coldest part of the season, which is December - January for us. ice formed about 1 foot around the perimeter of the pond but that was it.

Thumbnail by DavEdsel
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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2011
10:51 AM

Post #8783160

Oh Mary... Brrrrr... don't want to think about winter yet.

Yesterday was cold and raw with hurricane Irene coming through. The fish didn't seem to mind, but they are wet anyway!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2011
11:34 AM

Post #8783231

You got a bit of Irene, did you? I was thinking you were safely inland. But I guess the edges reach far beyond the 'main show.' Which, fortunately, was less than they predicted.

Dave, my ice will reach around 1.5 to 2 feet around January, the coldest month for us. February isn't much better. My fish disappear for several months under the ice, and then under around 1 to 2 feet of snow on top of the ice. Except for the holes our deicers make down to the water that remains unfrozen or unevaporated. Last year the water was as low as around 3" in the 28" shallows.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2011
4:40 AM

Post #8784547

Mary

do you think if you put in more deicers, it would help to keep the ice cap down? Say you put 4 clustered together.

I do know the colder we are, the smaller the hole in the ice from the deicers. How cold does it get there?

I put the thermometer into the pond last night to get a temperature reading and completely spaced it until now. It's awful to get old...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8784926

We are running 48 air temp and 59 water temp in the moring. More deicers wouldnt help unless we covered the pond with them. While our temp is nothing compared to Fairbanks, we still see fairly average -10 to -15 in Jan and Feb which is when the ice really grows. No way to stop it. And truly the fish were fine last year. I didn't lose one. so as long as we work to keep up the oxygen with running a pump to circulate water at the bottom and an aerator or run a hose to drop from the lowest falls, we are okay.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
10:28 AM

Post #8792771

Today the ambient temp was 51 and the pond temp was 56. Larger fish are staying in the caves more and don't know why. Still have water lilies and such to give hiding places. Have run out of regular food so have switched to wheat germ stuff. That should be okay, huh?
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2011
11:54 AM

Post #8792881

Once the water temps hit below 50, I usually stop feeding...but you can probably go a bit longer with wheat germ food (go for very low protien and fat) I don't know how long your temps go before you drop into frosts and freezes, but this seems very early in the year to stop feeding them altogether...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
1:03 PM

Post #8792948

Definetly. We will go on for at least two months before freezing on the pond. but the pond temp will be in the 40's in another month. I worry about cutting off their food too early because it stretches out so long -- the cold water. I guess I need to ignore the presence of ice and just go with the no feeding below 50. Don't know how they survive so long with no food. I know that their respiration shuts down to occasional breaths and hardly a feeble fin flip, but still...I guess I shouldn't question. They survive all winter and grow like made in the short summer. I read that fish can't put on fat for the winter? Is that so? it is nearly a straight shot from mouth to anus...
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
3:42 PM

Post #8793170

Mary Stella = when did you stop feeding the fish last year? What were your water temps at that point.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2011
4:06 PM

Post #8793210

I'd still keep feeding them at this point, even if the temps are cooler...but you said you're feeding them a wheat germ food, so you should be ok for a while. Under normal warm weather conditions, yep, food goes in and out rather quickly. The warm water allows thier metabolism to function at a very high rate. Once it cools down, so does their metabolism, and digestion stops taking place. Things stay inside the digestive track, and start to cause internal bacterial infections.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
5:07 PM

Post #8793310

I can't remember when I stopped. Mostly because one day it is 52 and the next day or so is 48, then back to 52. I guess the rule of thumb is after it hits 50 the first time, stop the food. They don't seem to interested now. It seems like just a week ago I could sit by the pond and pitch in a few bits and they would fall all over each other to get at it. Would all but beach themselves (the bigger ones) if the food got in the rocks. Two or three would try to cram in there so one would be on top. Too funny.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
6:38 PM

Post #8793431

Mary

Is this your normal time when you start withholding food and thinking about shut down? I am of the impression that it is early year?
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
6:47 PM

Post #8793445

Not really withholding food, just ran out of the regular stuff. So I am kicking in with the wheat germ which I would be using around now anyway. It is just so cold here and with water temps in the mid to low 50's I figured it was okay. Plus the fish just don't seem active or interested anyway. And really spooky. I mean all I have to do is approach the pond and they take off like a shot. I don't know why. It wasn't that way a week or so ago. And there are not animals or kids around my pond. Just rain and cloudy cold days. I am going to put on my raincoat and begin sitting bythe pond again just so they get used to me again.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
6:54 PM

Post #8793453

Mary

I ask because I am wondering if it is early for you to be shutting down. I am wondering if your fish spook now, because you have had to chase them and catch them because of the fish illness this year. By the way, is everyone all better now? I hope so -

One thing that has helped me, is I have found that using the DG tools, I have been able to journal everything - providing I remember to enter it, but it is a nice refernce to go back and compare or see what worked or what did not work for me in a given situation...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
7:50 PM

Post #8793524

I am not shuttting down. Won't start that for quite a while. The kohaku has spots on his tail and the platinum has a dark green spot on his dorsal next to the wound he had. but the original wounds on both the platinum and the gold are healing well. We can't catch the kohaku nor have we tried. He is staying in his caverns. Damien says he knows he is hunted. Even after all the messing with the pond and fish, they weren't spooked for long. I could sit by the pond and pop food within a foot of myself and they would crowd to eat. I could have touched them. so I don't know why they are spooked now. I have meds coming to treat the pond and we will make one more try to isolate them in the shallows and dip them. Otherwise, just hope for the best come spring.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
7:58 PM

Post #8793539

Mary

It sounds like you have time to get the fish healthy before you do shut down. How long before the meds are due to arrive?
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2011
10:02 PM

Post #8793684

they were waiting for a shipment of ointment and were supposed to ship Monday. that is a holiday. I expect it by no later than Saturday next.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 5, 2011
5:35 AM

Post #8793920

Sounds like a fungus.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 5, 2011
8:40 AM

Post #8794246

If it IS a fungus, and I treat the pond, will it kill what is on the fish? He had it when I first pulled him and treated him for bacteria. Then did a fungus treatment, as he had both the green and then a sort of wooly stuff. All of that cleared up fine and I put him back in the pond. The wounds are clearing/healing fine also. then that dratted green stuff reappeared. Just a spot on his dorsal.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 5, 2011
9:25 AM

Post #8794336

Mary

I think it is the saprgolena (not sure of the spelling). It lives in the cooler water. I do think your entire pond needs to be treated.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 5, 2011
10:39 AM

Post #8794438

And it will be next weekend I hope. Will it kill what is on the fish do you think?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 5, 2011
11:00 AM

Post #8794464

Mary

I have not used it, however, I have heard in different venues where it was highly recommended.

I would think an ointment would have more staying power in the water as well.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 5, 2011
6:47 PM

Post #8795167

Carolyn...Sorry, since there are 2 Mary's, I often get confused in the conversation. Yes, I also think it could be sap. fungus. There's an over the counter pond additive, call PimaFix (available at PetSmart, etc) for fungus...while waiting for the treatment to arrive by mail. I have also used salt, it seems to work quite well. Don't get the small pond salts from the pet store, get the water softener salt from Lowe's or Walmart in the 40 pound bag. The kind with NO additives.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
9:59 AM

Post #8795949

We are really leary Mary, of salting the pond. And the pima fix at the store would be for aquariums. I would think I would have to buy a case of the stuff for my approx 3000 gallons pond. the fish are still skiddish and the kohaku rarely comes out of the caves so it would seem that my only hope is to treat the entire pond. I think I figured something like 72# of salt. Do you melt it first? I read somewhere that you add it in thirds over three days so as not to totally shock the fish.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
10:38 AM

Post #8796007

MS -

The salt the Merry Mary mentioned works well and I use the pickling salt myself. You can buy Pima fix and Mela fix from Webbsonline.com and Foster and Smith in the larger containers. Yes, it does become expensive and sometimes discouraging, however - there is also the upside to ponding. I know this has been a difficult year.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2011
11:40 AM

Post #8796169

About 3 times a year I salt my pond, and pretty heavily. Although I don't dissolve it first, I add it where there's a heavy flow, so it eventually dissolves and gets dispersed throughout.
Our PetSmart has quart sized bottles of PimaFix in the pond area.
In my one pond, which is 9 x 7 x 3ft deep, I use about 3/4 of the 40 pound bag of salt if it looks like there's a problem with a fish. It puts a good healthy slime coat on the rest of them, and begins to disinfect the wound on the bad fish. It takes care of minimal diseases like fungus, minor bacterial infections, scrapes from rocks, etc. I do half of it on one day, and the other half the next day.
Remember, before we came up with all of the modern marvels of today's medicine for fish...all they had was salt to fix them. I remember as a little kid, when I'd get a goldfish, the book would always say to add a tablespoon of salt to the aquarium!
:)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
11:51 AM

Post #8796186

My husband designs water / waste water facilities and he is always talking about adding a smidgeon of something like baking soda or whatever. A common item to fix something rather than going to the big guns right out of the shute, like permanganate. I will cut and past the notes above into an email to him. I am going to his office (self employed, he is, so it is just him) and we can discuss it there. Thank you both so much for your help and encouragement. Indeed it has been a rough, troubling summer.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
12:18 PM

Post #8796216

Hopefully it will get better soon. We have all had our share of illness and other issues. I know that early on, we seemed to lose a lot of fish to what I can now attribute to oxygen crashes. Glad that doesn't happen anymore.

We too salt our pond - it is salted in the late autumn and then the levels are brought to 0 with our early spring water exchanges. We like to do this after the temps where the good bacteria should be kicking in - I know that salt can be quite controversial, but it's been working for us... (knock wood!)
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
1:32 PM

Post #8796320

I talked with Damien about this over lunch. He reminded me that we face an issue that I don't think applies to either you or Mary. You living in PA and she is FL. We are facing a long winter of pond temps of 33-34F, covered in ice. You guys don't have to worry so much about your water temps. Ours is borderline bareable for the fish for months on end. If we salt now, the water will stay liquid and drop below 32F, below the tolerance of the fish. Our only hope would be to salt then change it out before freeze up. So, we are thinking we will rely on the meds to treat the pond, then in spring when the water is maybe 40, treat with salt, also before we start up the biowells and pressure filters and start adding cold water good bacteria. Hopefully the fish will be out and about a bit and it will benefit them also. Then we will start the spring summer regime of prazi, Koizyme, etc. I wish salt was the answer for us in the fall. But then again, I don't have to deal with 90F+ water temps, oxygen drops, PH spikes etc. Our water is rarely above 70, and with the falls etc, it stays nicely oxygenated. So nasty bugs seems (as of this year for the first time) to be my challenge. Maybe cold water bugs. So odd it happened when I got those new fish. On the other hand the pond is not 3 years old, after a total reconstruction in 2008, and I have heard that it takes that long for the crap under the gravel to build up. Who knows. When we removed our gravel from the shallows, there was no smell what so ever. We are going to try to get most of the gravel from the deep end this fall and put in some large flat rocks to hold down the lining. Our water table is so high, it will 'float' the liner at the 4' depth without weight on top. Pond is still running 56-57 in the early hours.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8796418

Mary

All I can think of is when one adds rock salt to the holding chamber to make homemade ice cream...You do make a good point. Yes, we have fluctuations where our temps are in the minus with the windchills, but that does not usually last very long (thank God!). We do spike in temps and have to deal with the oxygen issues in the deep summer.

See how it goes and quarantine new fish when you get them. I will tell you, we have never had the gravel in the bottom of the pond and we did end up with uclers that one year and the Sap. So... here's to a mild winter for all of us. :-)

MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2011
3:17 PM

Post #8796461

SO...since the 3 of us talk in assorted pond forums, I'll voluntarily go as either Mary2 or MM... :)
Mary1...if you've decided against salt in your pond, remember, you can always quaranting individual fish in a salt bath/dip, to begin the healing of their skin/sores...
I would lean toward up'ing your dose of healthy bacteria and enzymes (like KoiZyme) and add the clay powder to their food...I think it should make a very healthy overall pond enviroment for you...and you'd have to deal with far less "now that it's already happened" scenarios... Carolyn and I can only give you as much free advise as we have, hopefully that's what these forums are for! :)
Let me ask you one more thing...are you running a UV light on your pond? It not only keeps the water clear, but also kills a great deal of bad guys in your water. Get them off of ebay, they can be very pricey from a fish place.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8796652

I can change my userid as you were here first. I use Oberon46 for most everything else.

I have two uv's ; one in the pressure filter and then a 48" long 55w freestanding. Yes, they are spendy. I keep forgetting that they also kill bacteria too. The problem with dipping is that they are hard to catch (we have huge caverns where they hide - haven't seen kohaku in days).

Yay. I received the meds and will start tomorrow morning.

I can't tell you how much I have appreciated Carolyn's continued help and encouragement; yours also. I have learned so much from you both and though our environments are some different (slight understatement) there are some things that work for our friends the fish no matter where.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2011
6:51 PM

Post #8796762

Goodness no! Don't change your name...I just mean in our smaller circle of conversations,lol...I remember talking to your Oberon name too! :)
Let us know how it goes with the meds going in the pond...I'm hoping it will really correct things and get the balance going before winter.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2011
9:44 PM

Post #8796966

RTFL -- too late. I sent the request in. Now I can start over. :)
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2011
5:12 AM

Post #8797198

MS

You didn't need to change your name. MS works for Mary Stella and MM for MerryMary and Linda works for Mothermole - Linda - if you are lurking...

MS - let us know how it goes. You still have time on your side to get your fish better before you have to shut down, which is a good thing. I would hate for the fish to have to go through the winter with an illness.

Carolyn
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2011
9:07 AM

Post #8797591

I have changed to Oberon46, which I use almost everywhere else.

I will start with the Prazi today. It can be used concurrently with the Proform-C. I also received the dip and ointment for bacteria but I am sure I won't be able to use it this fall. But I will have it next spring just in case.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2011
10:15 AM

Post #8797658

MS - Oberon - I have to ask - what is the significance ( I know that is spelled wrong :-)) with Oberon. All I can think of is Merle... :-)

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2011
10:49 AM

Post #8797690

Actually my daughter set up my computer and you have to give it a name, so she chose Oberon. I suspect that she was thinking of the character in Shakespear's play Midnight Summer's Dream. but I also remember Merle Oberon. As a kid in Fairbanks, they showed old moves from the 30's and 40's at night. I loved Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy and quaked through Boris Karloff as the Mummy. lol
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2011
1:26 PM

Post #8805398

Here is a shot of the cave at the bottom of the four foot depth (used a zoom) that the fish go in and out of. Rocks are a little mossy. This is what makes catching them for treating illness so difficult. And there are many more such spots around the deep end walls.

Thumbnail by Oberon46
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

September 12, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8805529

I was wondering who Oberon was.

Talking about salt. i use the blue 50 lb bag that is used to soften water. I add salt maybe 3-4 times a year, occasional peroxide and baking soda.so far no problems in my pond. knock on wood!!! LOL!!!

Belle

This message was edited Sep 12, 2011 8:55 PM
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2011
3:21 PM

Post #8805557

Hi Belle. Yeah. I am going undercover. lol. I changed my userid to remove confusion with MerryMary. she was here first. It usually only ended up being a problem on long threads where people were responding to 'mary' -- Salting in the fall is out for us. Allows the water temp to go to cold, below 33. Bad for fish. Bad enough they endure 4-5 months of 33F under the ice.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2011
7:57 PM

Post #8806024

Silly...there's enough "Mary" to go around...Typhoid Mary, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Mary had a little lamb... :D
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2011
8:30 PM

Post #8806079

Yes, and i have heard most of them, usually from the nuns in school and usually "Mary Mary quite contrary...lol
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

October 9, 2011
6:59 AM

Post #8841794

This thread is very interesting. I don't ad any additives at all to my pond. When I had one fish that had an ulcer on its side I took it out and quaranteened it and put rock salt in water a little every day and changed water ea. day. It healed up fine in 1 week. If my fish are sick they don't show it. Nobody comes to surface gasping for air so guess waterfalls airate it. The few plants I have in there may help.
When Merry Mary comes over she can check things out and tell me if anything is wrong until then I'm happy and they all seem happy. Don't have thermometer but when I throw some food in and they don't show interest I quit feeding them for the winter. Right now they are still eating like pigs. Guess you call it dumb luck.
Oberon I can see where keeping fish in Alaska would be a challenge. My husb. loves Alaskan salmon broiled. Wish I did cause its good for us but its yuk to me.
Have a good week all.
Bonnie
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2011
9:26 AM

Post #8842004

I am not totally nuts about salmon either,but my husband is so he eats it several times a week. Since he got so many at Chitna, I guess he has to. No ice on the pond yet. It iced over around the first of November (I checked my pond pictures from 2010) last year I am hoping for a good October. but it was 34F this morning and there is frost on the pumpkin. Good thing I did a bunch of end of summer yard work yesterday. Still have two holes to dig for late peonies coming. Ground will be pretty hard soon.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 14, 2011
4:38 AM

Post #8848437

this is the time of year that I think about adding salt. Soon, the plants will all be cut back and the vacuuming for the winter's nap will all be done.

Mary - where are you on this being in Alaska? Haven't heard from Joy either - what is going on in your pond?

Carolyn
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 14, 2011
8:08 AM

Post #8848646

Well, I wrote a note just above yours...buuuutttt. lol. I managed to catch my 'once every 5-10 years' cold, so haven't been moving around a lot. boy when I get one it's a whopper. Holding @ 39 (upper 30's) at night so presume pond (which seems to hold at about 9 degrees warmer than ambrient temp) is around 40. Clear skies, hence colder weather. Wierd how that works in the fall and winter. I have cleared all plants from pond, except lilies which are cleaned up and in the deep end. We ended up treating the pond with antibiotics just a month ago which required 25% water changed each treatment, so the pond is pretty clean. Just some kitty litter left from the pots in the deep end. So other than pulling pumps and setting up deicers, and one underwater pump to circulate lowerwater, we are ready. Oh, also run a heat trace through the line from skimmer to biowell, and pump out the biowell completely. Then cover it with plywood and plastic to keep out the snow. All this last facilitates start up in spring. The first year the ice plug in the under ground pipe took forever to thaw, like it was the end of June.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 14, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8848686

Oh, I wish you felt better! At least when you are over this cold, you won't be due for another one in 5 years!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 14, 2011
9:39 AM

Post #8848730

We can only hope. It will pass. Thanks for the good thoughts.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

October 14, 2011
1:50 PM

Post #8848978

Hope you feel better real soon Mary!!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 14, 2011
2:47 PM

Post #8849017

Thanks Bernadette. Feeling better already with all the good vibes.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

October 17, 2011
7:43 PM

Post #8853414

Mary-O...hope you're feeling better! Get some rest...colds seem harder to get rid of these days...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 17, 2011
8:14 PM

Post #8853437

It is getting better, or just morphing -- not sure. No, it is much better. Just need to lay low for a bit. Thanks.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8859487

Cut back plants in the bogs today. Waterlilies were pulled from the pond, cut back and vacuumed the pond. We will start with salting the pond tomorrow. Water temps today was 52 degrees, so today was the last day for feeding the fish.

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 22, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8859565

It must be hard to stop feeding those monsters. Our weather is so cool, and the fact that the fish have hidden in their caves for their long winter rest makes it easy not to fret about them 'starving'. I know they aren't, but still. I know they come out during the winter, at least the small ones as I have seen a couple in the skimmer in the spring when the ice was still thick.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
4:35 AM

Post #8859865

MS -

I know what you mean - in my mind it is difficult to put to rest that our fish don't eat for almost half the year. Especially during the first year, it was difficult for me to rationalize. As time has gone on, it has gotten easier, but I still have difficulties with it because it does not make sense in the ways we are used to. These babies are our pets, just like our kitties and puppies are our pets.

I already miss them and this was a tough year too. We had temps that topped 100 degrees for close to a week in July. I know our friends in Texas have that happen routinely - not sure about Florida. I was worried then because of oxygen content and we have an additional bubbler that is rated for 7000 gallons and we are just under 5000.

Next month, we will be looking at pulling the pressure filters and the pumps one by one as the water temps drop. Typically, we totally shut down between the week of Thanksgiving and the first of December.

During our winter months, I always try to see what fish I can see through the holes in the ice. Sometimes I do see them, more often then not, I do not see them.

I have such zone envy of our friends in Florida when it comes to ponding.

bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

October 23, 2011
5:07 AM

Post #8859887

I do worry about them too not eating. We very seldom have our water frozen and DH does not want the deicer. he thinks they will get electricuted!!! LOL!!

Belle
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
8:43 AM

Post #8860156

Oh Belle. That is so funny. But if your pond ices up you MUST have a deicer. Poor fishies will be breathing gases in short order. Carolyn has a full month on us of no ice. I imagine our deicers will go in the end of October before the ice sets in permanently. Three in all.

Carolyn, only once in the time we have had the pond did I see fish through the ice holes. Plus the one winter that I found a couple in the skimmer once or twice. It's funny that you do just what I do, treking out pulling the decier and peering in the hole with flashlight in hand to see if anyone is out and about. I MISS my fishies already...
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
9:14 AM

Post #8860214

Belle

Tell your DH that it is no different than running the electricity for your pumps to the pond. MS is right that if you have a hard freeze on your pond, it will eventually kill your fish. The gas build up will be too much for them.

I already miss my fish as well... this whole fall thing into winter is depressing...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
11:14 AM

Post #8860329

Carolyn, do you fish have places to hide or can you see them as they go to sleep and then the pond ices over?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
4:42 PM

Post #8860698

MS -

I don't have any places for the fish to hide, but what they like to do is to get in and amongst the pots of waterlilies. I am thinking that because it is the shallower end, the water is probably a tad warmer there with the deicer over it. the shallower end is about 3 1/2 feet of water.


Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 23, 2011
5:58 PM

Post #8860793

Ahhh,. So you get to see your fish for a lot longer than I do. Even if they are snoozing you can still see them, especially as they are so big. Damien shut down the biowell, but left the pressure filter running. He brought the big 55W UV into the garage to drain it and store for the winter. We fed the heat trace through the line from the skimmer to the biowell so it will stay thawed out all winter. Makes for an earlier start in the spring. I did some vacuuming though the bottom was really clean. Just some of that dratted kitty litter. Maybe in the next few weeks we will bring in the pressure filter. Last year we had a freeze and Damien said the line to the pressure filter was frozen somewhat. Don't want a repeat of that.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
8:28 AM

Post #8861441

I don't use the kitty litter and I think this may have something to do with why my fish don't typically go after my waterlilies. I use pea gravel, so I have no clay in my potting medium.

Yes, I do get to see the fish as they are sitting at the bottom of the pond. However, if it is anything like last year, the icing over the pond was opaque and not clear. I had wondered the entire winter if my fish with the tumor had survived the winter, which as you know he did, but only to die this past summer. :(
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
9:07 AM

Post #8861491

I am switching to pea gravel next summer. How often do you feed the plants and with what? When do you figure the ice will go opaque. Ours is clear (somewhat) for a while before it goes opaque plus, of course, the snow covers it also.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
9:25 AM

Post #8861527

I feed my WL's once a year with the year long waterlily fertilizer stakes. If I had to do it more often than that, it would not get done.

Last year, it went opaque early and stayed that way through the winter. Drove me nuts, I could not see into the pond...

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
10:43 AM

Post #8861612

Where do you get your stakes? I have to fertilize each month and as you say, I am lucky to get it done when they go in and maybe once more. Planting in gravel would seem to guarantee that they would be living on what they get from the water and whatever fertilizer they are given.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
11:31 AM

Post #8861695

MS

I order through Webbs or through Foster and Smith.

Scroll down to the Laguna Once a Year http://www.webbsonline.com/catalog/fert/index.html
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
11:44 AM

Post #8861723

I guess I had looked at these before. Problem is that while two mini pkgs costs 12.98, the frreight is about $26 from each of the above places because we live in Alaska. Drives me nuts. some places with do USPS but not Webb or Foster and Smith. They insist on 2nd day air to us.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
5:14 PM

Post #8862130

I use the full size, not the mini's...


Too bad you cannot get Ground Service. It would save a fortune.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 24, 2011
6:04 PM

Post #8862233

Some companies will do it, some won't. I was going to get the mini's due to the depth of my pots. they are glorified dishpans. That was what Texas Waterlilies recommended among other things. I guess 7" would work. It would be just about the depth of the pans. I will continue to scout around.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 25, 2011
4:24 PM

Post #8863544

Beautiful waterlilies Carolyn.
I have Tropical Water Lilies this year and will be pulling them very soon. I had heard that you can put them in a plastic bag with some damp sand to over winter. Has anyone tried this and how did it work for you?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 25, 2011
4:32 PM

Post #8863552

Holly


Thank you.

We tried the tropical WL this year and my fish seemed to think they were a delicacy... so, looks like I am sticking with the hardy WL.

I have heard the same thing as your description above to carry over tropical WL. I am curious myself as to whether this method works. Please let us know - I have never heard from anybody after the fact...

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
9:53 AM

Post #8865792

It was 30F this morning at 7am. The pond was 38F. there was a slight bit of ice in one corner of the pond. It will melt off as soon as the rather cold sun comes up. Supposed to be clear and cold today. Frost on everything. I MUST finish the yard this weekend. I have three bags partially filled with leaves and such in the yard, two beds are cut down but I haven't packed up the stuff, and one cart filled with garden clippings sitting out in the open filling with water when it rains. Still need to warp burlpa around my honeysuckle to protect it from the moose. Also a climbing rose next to my mailbox - stupid moose even take a chomp or two out of it. Part of me wishes it would just snow and get it over with.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 27, 2011
11:20 AM

Post #8865905

Carolyn I will let you know. Cold weather is heading our way, too. I pulled the TWL out and have them drying out in a protected area. The Taro is up in the plant room for the winter and a couple of other marginals are ready to plant in the Veggie Garden for the winter. I have a couple of small above ground ponds and the fish need to be moved out of them and put in the deeper pond for the winter. I moved the Hardy WL out of the smaller ponds and into the deeper pond. Not much else to do to them other than move the fish and drain them.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
11:54 AM

Post #8865931

TWL? Texas Water Lilies? Drying? Not sure I get this. I take mine out, clean them up, cut all the greenery then dump them all in a tub and into the deep end. All hardy but if the ice gets to them, no soap. Oh. Tropical water lilies?? So you dry them out. I would love to get some but they don't seem to make it through the winter, even at the bottom of the pond.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
12:10 PM

Post #8865949

I am thinking TWL is Tropical Water lilies...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
12:28 PM

Post #8865961

Yeah. Light bulb finally went on. duh!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 27, 2011
12:32 PM

Post #8865966

Yes Tropical Water Lilies but they did come from Texas Water Lilies. LOL
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
1:15 PM

Post #8866015

So you are drying them out? I would think that would kill them
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 27, 2011
2:07 PM

Post #8866085

Not completely just letting some of the pond water drain for awhile so the pots aren't quite so heavy and messy.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
2:26 PM

Post #8866105

Gotcha. So where do you store them and how?
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 27, 2011
3:29 PM

Post #8866161

I have an upstairs room that is used as winter storage for plants, seed starting and crafts. It has good light and gets really crowded especially when the plants from the living area get moved up there for the Holidays I store the caladium, dahlia, EE bulbs and some of the plants that go dormant up there as it is warm. Some of the plants like the canas that like colder storage go to my son's basement. I think the TWL will go into the upstairs room.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2011
3:32 PM

Post #8866168

Thanks
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2011
10:57 AM

Post #8869239

Well, we got our first snow. Only maybe an inch or so here, more on the hillside I would assume, and a real dump up in Hatcher's Pass. It will melt though as the temp is 33F and will get a little warmer. Nothing like the mess on the east coast.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

October 30, 2011
12:32 PM

Post #8869330

Yep..a mess on the East Coast. My daughters BF is in Springfield,MA this weekend checking out a Grad school. Has no power at the hotel,can't find a place to open to get some food and the open house at the school was cancelled. He & his Mom drove 10 hours to get there . (before the storm hit!!) They are saying that the college is supposed to be open tomorrow and he hopes he can meet with someone then. Bummer!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2011
1:29 PM

Post #8869395

Bummer indeed! What a letdown. We went out to breakfast. The temp is holding @ 33F. Roads didn't clear off. Fender benders here and there. Best to stay at home. And we won't gripe as we have electricity flowing. Wonder how Carolyn is doing? I am assuming you also got dumped on?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2011
3:49 PM

Post #8869545

Today was beautiful - it only topped out at 48 degrees, which is cold for us at this time of year.

Yesterday was a mess - rain turning to snow and then back again. When I got up this morning, about 8ish, I went outside and started working in my garden. I had a number of things to plant as I had hit the sales at Lowes at the end of last week. I had a number of plants to put in as well as a number of bulbs ( I went heavy on the alliums this fall). It was cold this morning when I started out about 32 degrees and my deck was covered in ice with some snow on top of it. I figured it would melt as the day wore on.

One of the most beautiful things I saw today, was some huge foxglove leaves with an edging of snow. I wish I had taken my camera outside with me this morning. I am not a snowbunny, but it was a very striking display.

I took the pond's temperature this morning. At 10:45 this temp was 42 degrees and the air was 35 degrees. Apparently we were on the fringe of the storm - that is as close as I care to be.

DD flies back into Logan in Boston from Chicago later this week. Hoping the weather holds until she is back home safe and sound.

BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

October 30, 2011
9:15 PM

Post #8869882

For those who are already tired of fall/winter check out this video. Love it!

http://player.vimeo.com/video/27920977?title=0&;byline=0&;portrait=0href
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2011
7:44 AM

Post #8870271

Oh, Bernadette. That was wonderful. I could almost smell the flowers. What a wonderful thing to wake up to. Thank you, thank you!!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2011
3:32 PM

Post #8870885

Damien caught me wool gathering. Pond is finished for winter. Colored spots in pond are leaves not fish.

This message was edited Oct 31, 2011 2:32 PM

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2011
3:39 PM

Post #8870892

Beautiful picture MS.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

October 31, 2011
4:29 PM

Post #8870976

Thanks. Not sure I would use that adjective, but... The board across the deep end is to keep the cord for the deicer at that end out of the ice. If it freezes in, as the ice grows and the water gets lower, the deicer is stuck anywhere from a foot to two feel above the water level which then freezes. This way I can make sure it stays at water level no matter how deep it gets into the ice.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2011
3:49 PM

Post #8887508

Guess what? I saw some of my goldfish today. I don't know if it is the circulating water or what but there is slush on the pond in the center of the snow and an about 12x6" open water. I saw three told fish. I thought one was a koi, tancho, based on size, but remembered that my tancho died this summer. so it is a comet, but so big since I last saw it. Amazing. If that one has grown so much, I can't imagine what the koi look like. I was excited. i took pictures but you can barely see them with my little camera.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2011
3:54 PM

Post #8887513

Here is a shot from the skimmer to the falls, all buried in snow of course.

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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2011
3:56 PM

Post #8887517

A little peek at the fish during this aweful time of year is always nice. My pond net was loaded with oak leaves this morning. My Koi were happy to see me when the leaves finally were removed. Good thing I netted the pond. Still a pain to get them out. Think I will rig up some type of frame next year so the leaves fall to the side of the pond .
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2011
4:05 PM

Post #8887527

It is exciting to see the fish after the pond freezes over. It is like a ray of hope...

Bea - I have been fishing (no pun intended) cherry tree leaves out of my skimmer..
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 12, 2011
6:34 PM

Post #8887712

It really was great. I don't think I really realized how much I missed them til I saw two or three down there. How I wish I didn't have ice and snow. Even if the water got cold and they sort of went dormant, if I could just see them.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

November 14, 2011
8:22 AM

Post #8889729

I've been remiss in getting the smaller leaves out of the pond but the fish don't seem to mind.We have had a warm fall.Today the temperature will go to 15c.I haven't put the heaters in.The perennial geranium that border the pond are one of the remaining spots of colour It is really a 3 season plant even though it is rather invasive.It's not hard to control.This is my pond today.JOY

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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

November 14, 2011
8:25 AM

Post #8889732

Another perhaps better picture...new camera is my excuse. JOY

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

November 14, 2011
8:34 AM

Post #8889745

Joy

Very pretty. I love the color of your geraniums.

Have you had any snow yet? I have seen flurries and I know Mary Stella mentioned something about a foot of snow.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 15, 2011
10:08 AM

Post #8891276

We are up to about 2' snow. Two tiny little portholes in the ice is all on the pond. Joy, your pond and surrounds are beautiful. How I wish mine looked like that right now. I have shoveled a path to the pond so when I put on my husband's rubber boots (which come to my knees-the only ones high enough to keep out the snow) I don't fall all over the place. They are heavy and my balance isn't so great. I will get a picture today so you will get the idea. lol
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

November 17, 2011
8:30 AM

Post #8894092

Had a good rain & wind storm last night. Have this mess to deal with now. Removed some leaves from the pond this morning..but I still have much work ahead of me once it stops raining. Love the oak trees in the summer but not so much now!! What a mess!

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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

November 17, 2011
9:26 AM

Post #8894189

Here is the pond before scooping some leaves.

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meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 20, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8898459

beahive

love your garden shed and pond, just keep in mind that the trees are providing you with the best darn much there almost is, leaf humus and when mixed with horse manure you would not believe what it will do for a garden. Hope you have a shreader...

After moving back to my birth state of Florida, the oaks down here are nothing like the beautiful oaks you have there. I do miss my leaf humus... but I'm learning a whole new gardening skill with tropicals down here and not to do much during the summer...LOL

Jan
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 20, 2011
11:48 AM

Post #8898684

I always love gardening in my FIL's yard when we visit. It is so different than working in my own gardens.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 22, 2011
7:55 AM

Post #8901353

Boy Bernadette = looks pretty cold and soggy there. I'm surprised that with all those trees you have that you don't 'net' your pond.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

November 22, 2011
10:05 AM

Post #8901472

Mary, I do net the pond. The net is just laid across the pond & stream and held down with some large rock. I hope to rig up some type of tent structure next season to have the leaves fall to the sides for easy removal. It has been windy & rainy for the last 24 hours. The yard is & pond is even worse now than the picture above. I need to get out there and get some of the leaves removed from the net and of course my rain gear is out in the shed!! Only good news is I think this storm will knock down most of the leaves so I can get the yard cleaned up. Hate a mess yard!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 22, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8901650

Yeah. I had that problem also only I still had leaves coming down, not very many, nothing like yours and the pond froze with the net in it. Lot of good that did. Fortunately it thawed out enough before going into deep freeze so I could at it out. My neighbor has trees in the front yard and it was driving him nuts because the wind would blow just enough to knock down some, not all of the leaves. So he borrowed my leaf blower but then they got wet then it doesn't work. He also said he wished we would have a huge blow to get all the leaves down at once.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

November 23, 2011
6:13 PM

Post #8903407

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all the friends here at Dave's and especially my ponding friends. I have a lot to be grateful for, not the least of which is all the friends here. I am not given to platitudes. Heck, I don't even send Christmas cards. But it makes me happy to know you are all out there and spring is coming while we plan all the new stuff to go into our gardens (just received seeds) and expectantly await to see how changes we made last year come out next year new peonies and lilies).

Take care, stay healthy (as possible),
Mary Stella
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

November 24, 2011
3:03 AM

Post #8903660

To all my DG friends,

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Even if our cold weather is only 3-4 months I still read all the threads that I participate.

My pond is netted so i do not have to clean leaves!!!

Belle
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2011
5:06 AM

Post #8903710

I am blessed, so I am thankful. Blessings and happy wishes to all fellow DG-ers! Happy Thanksgiving!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 24, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8904163

I agree, I have been very blessed as well. We had a wonderful day with family. My parents, children and grandchildren such a very nice day for our family.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

November 25, 2011
5:17 PM

Post #8905680

Just got home - I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know that I too, have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 1, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8913011

I don't want to make any of my northern friends feel bad...it must be global warming!!Here is what my pond looks like todayJOY

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 1, 2011
5:08 PM

Post #8913013

Joy,

your pond is so pretty.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 1, 2011
8:28 PM

Post #8913270

Okay Joy. I give you points for having a liquid pond not surrounded by snow. lol. I got a new puppy so I am happily playing with my new playmate. A little 5# chihuahua pomerian mix. Looks like a little fox. Adorable. Woodrow is his name
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 1, 2011
10:41 PM

Post #8913354

Lucky you.I have a 15year old senile Siamese cat who loves me very much and bosses us all around!!JOY

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
2:39 AM

Post #8913389

Joy

I love Siamese cats... I had a Lynx point Siamese for years. I don't think she could see that well. She never missed a stair step or anything, but I just got that impression from her all the time.

Here is my boy...he is a handful, but he makes me laugh.

Mary - do you have a picture of new puppy?

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MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 2, 2011
4:44 AM

Post #8913428

I have 2 Siamese, a flame point, and a blue point. I'm getting ready to pick up another one this week, probably a seal point, although there was a cute linx point in the litter, so not sure just yet. I love them, I've had siamese my whole life. They look good around my koi ponds, lol.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8913440

MerryMary wrote: They look good around my koi ponds, lol.


That is too funny. I do love Siamese. Do you have any pictures Mary? I should see if I can dig out a picture of my Lynx Point. She has been gone awhile and I do miss her.

MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 2, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8913448

My daughter has a litter and needs owneres...hint hint... :) I'll look for a picture to post.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 2, 2011
5:30 AM

Post #8913462

I have had Siamese cats for over 50 years.At one point I raised them.I always had two in the past but when the last of my pairs passed on my daughter gave me a bluepoint...willow.Before the cats were so busy loving each other and the children that they neglected me.Willow bonded with me as the children were all grown up and on their own.He is my constant companion.He is the smartest one I've ever had.I just say show me and he goes to the door or his food dish or even the catnip drawer.JOY

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8913602

I do have to admit that I am a cat person. I have had siamese, calico, a Russian Blue (my dearest and favorite.) He is huge and so huggable. He had been a rescue cat with part of an ear and the end of his tail missing. And he was known to miss a stair and slam into the stair riser next up. What a hoot. Damien used to pitch him from the deck into the 3' feet of snow in the back yard. Then one day Jack vomited on his side of the bed and the cat abuse stopped. Damien really loved Jack, just has a perverted way of showing it. I have pictures of him laying in bed reading the paper with Jack's head on his bicep sound asleep. But he became allergic and refused shots. Now we have Woodrow (Woody) renamed from Coco by Damien. I keep calling him a her as I had a female hedgehog named Coco. When I fire up the other computer I will load up a picture. All your cats are so darling I could just cuddle them all up.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 2, 2011
10:17 AM

Post #8913737

I still have some fish to relocate into the deep pond for the winter.
Talking about pets, Ric and I are going to look at a mixed terrier tomorrow.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

December 2, 2011
10:40 AM

Post #8913755

Since you all are talking about kitty's..found this pic the other day to share.I think it is photo-shopped..but darling anyway.

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
12:20 PM

Post #8913845

Bea -

so cute. I have long haired blue persian mix. This baby reminds me of her.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
12:21 PM

Post #8913847

I agree about the photoshop, but still adorable. Puppy isn't so adorable right now. Peed on the carpet. I banished him to his cage. Damien can only take so much of that. I think I have to get spray as he peed right by the spot he peed in when he arrived yesterday. I think I read that once they do that, they will always go back to the same spot. :( Worse than a baby.

A terrier mix was another breed we were looking at. Really cute.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
12:22 PM

Post #8913848

Cat's are soooooo much easier...and at least as adorable..
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 2, 2011
2:03 PM

Post #8913979

I love cats but my allergies are just too bad with cats in the house. When our last two died I swore that I wouldn't get another one. It is hard though they are so nice and there are so many in need of homes.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
2:41 PM

Post #8914023

The daughter of a friend was wildly allergic to cats and went to an accupuncturist. One treatment and she was cured. Went and got two cats with no side affects at all. I couldn't talk my husband into doing it.
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

December 2, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8914054

That is interesting that she was cured by an accupuncturist. My daughter has appled for a receptionist job at an accupuncture office . I hope she gets it and receives a family discount. I would love to try accupuncture for many things. I would love to get a cat or at least baby sit my grand kitty more often, but her last visit I was miserable. Here is Feisty making herself at home while staying with me this summer.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
3:48 PM

Post #8914110

Cats are the best! I can't help how I feel. I just dearly love them. My daughter has two rescued cats so I can get my 'cat fix' as she calls it at her house or we go to PetSmart and visit their cats.

Here is Woody. You can see a Winnie The Pooh to the right. He pulls on it when he goes to bed and it plays the "Winnie the Pooh" Song.

This message was edited Dec 2, 2011 3:49 PM

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 2, 2011
6:56 PM

Post #8914349

Well, it's been 35 degrees here and the pond top is very slushy. I went to check and found a gold fish on the surface by the deicer. Dead I presume. Maybe got caught in the ice and froze. Others are swimming around on the bottom. Saw the kohaku in the shallow end then went to check on the deep end and when I got back he had moves so obviously he is alive. Hope that one gold fish wasn't looking for oxygen. If any more turn up I will have to assume that is the case and start some aeration. The water is being moved around down there and there is a lot of open ice so I would hope they are getting enough. They shouldn't need a lot this time of year I would think.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 3, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8915212

Today was bright and sunny.The nights have been cold enough for ice to form on the pond so I decided to put the pond warmers in.The pond was calm and the reflection was lovely.I wanted to get pictures of the fish but this is what I got

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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 3, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8915221

I persisted but the fish spooked every time I approached the pond so finally I stayed on the porch and used the zoom.I'm sure the fish thought it was spring the way they were zooming around.I even fed them which I haven't done since September and they ate the food.

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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 3, 2011
3:36 PM

Post #8915223

This was my last picture after the food.This was taken from the porch.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 3, 2011
3:37 PM

Post #8915225

Beautiful pictures, especially the first one. 25F here with a slight wind. Brrrr. Doesn't take much breeze to chill it right down.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 3, 2011
3:37 PM

Post #8915226

Oh, I see the fishies...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 4, 2011
1:55 PM

Post #8916171

Well, kit's been 44F with chinooks. The pond has big open water spots. I see my koi and gold fish swimming around down there. More active than I would have thought. They all look good though. It is reassuring to see them, especially the bigger guys. Didn't see Homer, the biggest and oldest but he is a strange sort of color and he blends in and is hard to see normally anyway. He was probably under the ice hiding away from the open water. I netted the gold fish that was dead on top of the ice. I am assuming he jumped and didn't make it back into the pond. I looked him over and he looked clean with no sign of bacteria or anything.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 5, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8917237

Today the temperature is 15C ...just like spring.I went out and unplugged the pond heaters.I went for a walk with just a light jacket...would have gone farther but if I overdo it I get terrible cramps in my feet and legs at night.So much for the Golden Years!!JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 5, 2011
2:54 PM

Post #8917629

Joy - I love your sense of humor.

I am thinking that in the next week or so, we will have to shut down and start to bring in the pumps. Temps are supposed to be in just the high 30's at the end of this week.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
8:53 AM

Post #8918582

We are back to the upper 20's but even though there is a skim of ice on the pond I can still see my fish. Wish it would stay that way all winter. But even it it weren't covered in snow (which it inevitably will be) the ice ceases to be clear.

Went out and the dog followed me. He went onto the ice and I was so worried he would approach the holes where the ice is thinner. He may only weight 5-6 pounds but it might be enough to break the ice. I don't think I could make myself plunge into the pond even for him. Been there, done that. I figured I should be the long handled net just in case. He skittered around a bit and I think he decided he didn't like it.

Finally gave in and am off to see the doctor to get a "Z" Pack to try to break this durned head thing. I am hoping that the weather will hold cold to take the glare off the ice on the streets in the neighborhood so Woody and I can go back to walks. Even with ice cleats on I am afraid of the glare ice and of falling. As Joy says, the old bones are not so resilient as they once were. Christ may have made it through life with no broken bones, but I don't have the edge He did. lol.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
9:11 AM

Post #8918602

We haven't pulled any pumps yet, biofilters or anything yet. DH said the latest we have gone in doing this is 12/10. It looks like it might be around that date again for us.

Feel better soon, Mary.

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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

December 6, 2011
9:39 AM

Post #8918640

28 deg here and ice beginning to form on the ponds edge. May have to get out the de-icer today as no rain is expected for rest of the week so the temps will remain low. Still have piles of leaves waiting to be moved, but it is to dang cold! Pick up by city not until after Christmas...so I have time.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
11:50 AM

Post #8918787

Love to see your pond and fish Carolyn. They are so big. I do wish my pond was bigger. Maybe someday if we move and I am not too old. I don't think we will ever enlarge this one again.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
12:16 PM

Post #8918818

Mary

Thanks - I am really missing being outside and sitting by the pond.

Bea - I think you are colder than we are right now. I believe that is supposed to change very quickly.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
12:52 PM

Post #8918879

they are all begging for food...poor starving babies. I figure this is a summer picture though. They are at least as big as the ones I saw in the lake by the budhhist temple in Hawaii. Just not as many. They were in huge snarls of fish, one atop the other, trying to get food being thrown into the pond. I suspect they are well fed by tourists who buy kibbly stuff to feed them, not the needy fish they look like
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
1:33 PM

Post #8918932

Mary

Yes, this is a summer picture. I do miss feeding them.

How big are the koi at the temple? I know back in September of 2009, we measured all the fish and my kohaku was 23.5 inches then and he is my largest fish. My guess is he is between 24-26" as I know that koi do their fastest growing in the first couple of years of their lives and then they slow down.

I was outside earlier and I did check the air temps - even though it is rainy and miserable, we are still in the upper 40's. Not sure where my water temps are at this point.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
4:57 PM

Post #8919188

I cannot imagine having a 24" fish in my pond. The ones at the temple, if I remember correctly, were (at the biggest) around 24-36" and very big around. Your pond is 5000gal and aboutg 18x27?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
5:32 PM

Post #8919241

Yes, my pond is just under 5000 gallons and it is 13x27, but this also includes my bogs. We have on the one end 4 ft deep and on the shallower end 3 1/2 feet deep. This is our 3rd pond, with each time we put a new pond in - we did go bigger. We are at a point where we cannot get any bigger as my backyard will not allow us to go any bigger. Perhaps the next house.



Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
6:28 PM

Post #8919294

Not bad for remembering the last time we 'talked' about your dimensions. So what about the pond exclusive of the bogs?
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2011
6:31 PM

Post #8919300

Oh, and is it a gradual slope from 4' to 3.5', or is there a distinct step up? If so, what are the dimensions of the 4' versus the 3.5'? I am trying to get a feel for the size that would accomodate fish your sizes. There may be some wiggle room next spring when (hopefully) they come to fix my pond. Even a few feet wider say at the shallow end would make a difference.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
1:40 AM

Post #8919667

I have to ask DH each time, because I cannot remember the width and lenght of the pond. I believe without the bogs, he said it was 11x25 - not positive - I would have to ask him and he is sleeping (but it 4:30 am here).

The depth difference is a gradual difference. Truthfully, I am not sure whether the size of the pond has anything to do with the size of the fish. I have read that it is that way and I have read that it is not that way and the fish will grow to their size.

I do know the kohaku is not the oldest fish in the pond, yet he is the biggest.

We also have the waterlilies sitting on the bottom of the shallower end of the pond. We did have the plastic cubes in the shallower end to keep the wl's at the correct height, but we had a fish get caught between the cubes. After that, we never worried about the correct height for the wl's again.



Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
6:51 AM

Post #8919854

Yeah. I can see that the health of the fish outweighs the health of the wl's. Sorry to be pesky. I was just really curious about the differences in habitat. And of course, the differences in weather cannot be ignored. that cannot be replicated here, obviously. Thanks for your patient answers.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
6:54 AM

Post #8919860

Mary

No worries - I enjoy the dialogue - ask me anything - although some things are probably better kept to dmails :-)

I always felt my fish looked bigger in the spring at start up then when we shut down in the fall. I am of the thinking they are growing during the winter, but I am not positive of that either.

agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 7, 2011
9:23 AM

Post #8920009

Carolyn I agree that the fish appear to grow in the winter although I don`t feed them.It always surprises me.Mrs. raccoon thinks they are a good meal when they get big. She has a big appetite when she is feeding her babies.She sometimes get my biggest fish. JOY
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
9:29 AM

Post #8920018

I don't know. I really was amazed at the size of my fish this spring. Could be just the delight at seeing them all of a sudden after such a long winter (silly, really -- winters are really about the same length - a week or so isn't that signifigant.) But it did appear to me that they were bigger. Especially ones that were just small gold fish in the fall. Their growth was more obvious. I guess my desire for a bigger pond, not necessarily deeper (I have a sufficiently deep end for winter safety) but so they have more area to roam around and just lazily swim. It isn't too bad now, but I keep looking at your big guys and trying to picture them in my pond. If they did laps from end to end, they could only manage about three or four good 'breast strokes' and they would have to turn around. :) Guess they would have to do laps around the perimeter. It is maybe 14' at the widest and about 20' at the longest. So it isn't too small. Maybe yours, with those neat bogs and all your greenery around the edges just sort of makes it look even bigger. I am still contending with the durned rock issue. I know you must have rock edges but they are so well hidden for the most part that they aren't obvious.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
9:32 AM

Post #8920026

Oh Joy!! How awful. I think I would be compelled to live trap the little critter and transport her to a new home --- far far from my fish. Your pond really doesn't have much protection for the fish. We have no predators except cats and squirrels. I see cat tracks in the snow sometimes -- perhaps they can smell the fish or maybe they are just drinking from the pond while it is still liquid. But they can't get to the fish. And even if a moose invaded the back yard, they certainly have no interest in fish. About all they could do is break a leg if they fall through the ice --- hmmm, moose burgher, moose roast, moose steak... NO, NO. Very illegal -- course, who would know. I could bribe the neighbors on both sides with meat, and hang the rack on my shed...
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
2:50 PM

Post #8920442

Joy,

If you are seeing the same things that I am seeing regarding fish growth in the winter. I am thinking if both are of the same line of thinking, then it must be that the fish are growing during the winter as well as the summer. No wonder their little immunities are so depleted at the end of the winter - no food and they are growing as well. Poor babies.

Mary -

Do you have eagles? I know we do - we have never been visited by the hawks and eagles (knock wood), but I would think they would prey on the koi.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8920545

We see them in our area very rarely. One was sitting on the top of the neighbors roof last summer within sight of the pond but showed no interest. Now the robins and magpies love to bath in the falls and drink from the pond, but not too much danger there.

Yes, I would think those poor fish must be seriously depleted by spring.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 7, 2011
4:00 PM

Post #8920548

The only thief I`ve caught in the act was a crow...in the winter.The fish come to he surface around the heater and the crow grabbed it and stayed right there on the ice and ate the poor fishie!I saw it all from the window. I am too old to trap anything bigger than a mouse or moths in pheromone traps.We did trap some raccoon years ago but there are just too many .The fish are swimming near the surface but the Coon isn`t bothering with them at all right now.It seems to be a spring thing.
The Weather is still unseasonably warm and I`m suffering with my allergies something awful.I`ll be glad to see some snow to cover up all the mould.JOY
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 7, 2011
4:04 PM

Post #8920558

Yes we do have Eagles.We live very close to The St.John river and they nest in the pines along the river but they must do their fishing in the river.We see them but they don`t visit the pond.JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
4:59 PM

Post #8920649

I have seen the eagles flying over the rivers and I have seen the hawks circling overhead. I know they can drop from the sky in an instant into the waters of the rivers and come out with a fish, which makes me think they could do this as well with a pond. I do get nervous when I see them flying overhead when I am in the back yard. They just continue to circle over and over. I love the eagles and hawks, but do not want them to prey on my fish. I suppose I shouldn't be borrowing trouble.

Right now it is snowing outside and they are calling for 2-4" of snow. In a day or two the weather is supposed to be back into the 40's. We still do not have the heaters in the pond - Odd weather so far this year. I, truthfully am hoping it continues.

Time for a road trip to see MerryMary and Bonnie. It is getting to raw and cold for me.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 7, 2011
7:10 PM

Post #8920786

How great to just load up and go see fellow gardeners. Did you know them before you came to DG?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
2:39 AM

Post #8921082

Mary -

No. I did not know them prior to DG. I wish I could just pack up and go like that. I say that more with a whistfullness than an ability to do it. I would love to meet them as well as yourself and a number of others from DG in person.

MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 8, 2011
5:47 AM

Post #8921151

Carolyn,
We had a drop in temps yesterday ( a very odd one!) I went into the store to Christmas shop, complaining about how hot it was and that I should have worn shorts, and came out of the store to a 20 degree drop in temp! 80's down to 60's in an hours time...yipes. Going to be in the 40's tonight. I guess that's just Mother Nature's way of getting Floridians to crack out the Christmas sweaters, lol. However, it will last only a few days and then steady out in the mid 70's for the week.
Got a beautiful 17inch blue shusui butterfly koi yesterday, I told myself it was my Christmas present. :)
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2011
6:14 AM

Post #8921178

MM,
Where did you find the blue shusui??? Private sale or store. I shouldn't ask cause I would really be tempted. I have to come over and see that one.
Hope our weather stays warm as it is a big job to haul out all the landscape blankets and cover my precious plants.
Bonnie
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 8, 2011
6:25 AM

Post #8921186

Bonnie, I found it online. But I have a little bitty one for you...I just havent made it over yet. My schedule has been crazy lately! Stay warm!
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
7:06 AM

Post #8921232

MM -


Right now I will take your 40's. We had snow and rain last night. I had a 'crunchy' drive into work today. I don't like cold and crunchy. I do like high 80's and humidity :-). I know, I am one of those weirdo's that actually likes humidity!

Bonnie - I have a butterfly shishui that is mostly blue - I bought him at a koi farm quite a while ago. I probably paid too much for him at the time, but he has grown into a nice fish.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8921241

I googled the blue shusui butterfly and ended up at Blackwater Creek. Oh my gosh. What gorgeous fish. And they ship to Alaska. The prices are reasonable based on what I have seen in other places and the freight is more than reasonable, less than half what I have been charged to ship from Washington State and BW is in Florida. I am sure my DH would shoot me for even thinking of buying more fish after this summer's debacle but maybe just one or two??? Pleaaaassseeeee? :) We will see how the fish do this winter - if I have a good survival rate (only loses through fish stupidity - e.g. jumping out of the pond for no apparent reason, and landing on ice), I might reassess. I have to get a good fix on the sizes of what I have and the safety margin for my pond. I have heard 1" of fish per 100 gallons? I am sure that depends on you pond and the filtration etc.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
7:13 AM

Post #8921245

Mary, how did you know you could trust the seller or do you just automatically quarantine, etc?
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 8, 2011
10:41 AM

Post #8921500

I quarantine...but there are several sellers on ebay that have a long history of healthy, well maintained koi farms. I buy from the same ones who have consistently sent me healthy fish. They have excellent water quality and screen for koi viruses. I don't deal with mass produced fish import places that buy 3 inchers by the thousands. They have no clue what the health of those fish are, and need to unload them quickly to make money. Many fish farms now (the one's I trust far more) are the ones which started with amazing quality fish, bred them, and now have their OWN breeders and fry...therefore closing the farm to outside imports that can bring in a dreadful disease like KHV.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
3:18 PM

Post #8921870

Would you care to share some names? Blackwater indicates that they have done just what you mentioned, got good quality fish years ago and now breed their own.
MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL
(Zone 9b)

December 8, 2011
6:01 PM

Post #8922058

Oberon...I'll send you a DMail...I'm not sure aobut DG policy and if I'm allowed to promote certain people or companies in the forum?

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2011
7:40 PM

Post #8922160

I wasn't sure either, but figured a Dmail would work. Thanks
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 10, 2011
9:53 AM

Post #8923886

Probably be shutting down the pond today. I don't know where my water temps are currently - I will have to check that. We are supposed to start having night time lows in the teens... Brrrr.

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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 10, 2011
10:19 AM

Post #8923915

It's 26F here at 9:10AM. It gets up to the low 30's in the day. I am busily building the four gift baskets for my neighbors. I have been baking and candy making for weeks. Still have to decorate the sugar cookies and gingerbread men, then just drizzle glaze on several of the cookies. Daughter and boyfried are supposed to be here to help. Dax can help by taking Woody for walks. I am sure Woody will be delighted. Tomorrow is our (after five years) traditional trip across the cul de sac for Cookie Sunday. It started small with Amy and Sean making the $1M Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Now it is four couples, six kids, pizza, beer, wine, soda, and a lot of fun. No over indulgence in the 'spirits', just enough to contribute to the day. Bit of a zoo with the little ones (all under 9). Oh, and Laura and Dax will be coming also. Quite busy. I haven't decorated the house or probably will.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 10, 2011
11:21 AM

Post #8923991

Mary

It does sound like a lot of fun. Don't know if we will decorate the house this year - DH and I were just discussing that.

The Christmas lights are up on the outside of the house though.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 10, 2011
2:24 PM

Post #8924218

Yeah, that's the big effort for DH. The thought of hauling those boxes down from the garage when no one is in the house but Damien and I, and sometimes my daughter comes over --- just not worth it. Maybe next year if the MIL is coming here for Christmas I will decorate for her.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 10, 2011
3:43 PM

Post #8924276

Part of the reason is my inlaws invited us to Watertown for Christmas, so DH and I are discussing that. With them moving quite a ways away, I think it will be the last Christmas with them...

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2011
12:38 PM

Post #8926545

Ric pull the last of the fish out of the box pond just days ago before it froze over. The bird bath pond is still running. I will e shutting it down soon and putting the pond heater in there. I keep a pond heater in this small pond just to keep an air hole open. I think the frog needs to be tucked away for the winter. What do you think?

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HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8926548

I think that Gnome needs to hibernate, too. LOL

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 12, 2011
1:46 PM

Post #8926623

Holly

What do you and Ric do with the fish? We bring in the statuary too, but this year, the statuary never made it outside...

I am wondering - with a small heater in the birdbath, is there enough water that isn't frozen so the birds come to your birdbath in the winter? I have read about birdbath heaters but not tried one - I would think it would be great fun to have one.

Carolyn
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 12, 2011
2:08 PM

Post #8926648

The Birdbath pond is 3ft deep so I put all the fish and hardy water plants in the bottom of that pond for the winter. I use a pond heater just to keep an open spot for the pond to breathe. I can run the pump for the bird bath for awhile depending on how cold it gets. The running water helps keep it ice free for a while but eventually that will freeze up, too. The pump is in the bottom of the pond and I don't pull it out so it is just a flick of the switch to turn it on and off. I don't use a birdbath heater in the top part. I have a different heated birdbath that I put outside in the winter.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 22, 2011
6:04 PM

Post #8939796

My pond is quite small and I just used the one heater this year.This is what it looks like.JOY

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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 23, 2011
4:43 AM

Post #8940217

Joy

Such a pretty winter scene. How have you been?
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 23, 2011
6:32 AM

Post #8940301

I have been quite well this fall..no pneumonia or bronchitis this year.I've tried to get out more and walk but am worn out the next day. Hope you are well and have a very happy Christmas. We had snow overnight...it looks more like Christmas.JOY
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 23, 2011
6:51 AM

Post #8940315

This is the back garden today.The pond is open again with the warmer temperatures.One of my squirrel friends is waiting for the morning hand out!! JOY

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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 23, 2011
7:10 AM

Post #8940334

I posted some pictures in Canadian Gardening that show one of the events I attended in Dec. Here is my Christmas tree.Simple to decorate and the light always work and I'm not allergic to it !!JOY

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BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 23, 2011
3:16 PM

Post #8940855

Joy, your pond is beautiful. Snow is pretty but glad I'm not in it. We are unseasonably warm so my fish are still eating like pigs and putting on weight. Babies Merry Nary brought over are really growing rather fast it seems to me.
After 45 years in Fl. I have gotton used to being warm at Christmas time but still like looking at snow in other places.
Been making cookies for 2 days and have 20 boxes to fill for giveaway of various kinds. Used to do it every year when my children were little and liked to bake.
Hope everyone has a very Merry Cchristmas.
Bonnie
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 23, 2011
4:01 PM

Post #8940910

Bonnie Wow you are ambitious.I don't make cookies anymore.I have a good friend who loves to bake and keeps me supplied for special occasions .I do make blueberry bran muffins.I have a box of our native berries in my freezer.I live in a granny apartment beside my son.Tomorrow night we will have an open house .DIL will make Lobster Chowder and other Acadian goodies...like Clam
pie .I have my friends come...those that are left .Now their children and grandchildren come.My daughters come with my grandchildren. I hope you will have a very happy Christmas as I will A summer picture of Fredericton..

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 26, 2011
6:06 AM

Post #8942977

I love to cook and bake. Probably one reason the hips never seem to get any smaller.

I am hoping you all had a great Christmas. New Years is around the corner. Here's to a great ponding season for 2012!

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
Click the image for an enlarged view.

bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

December 26, 2011
8:34 AM

Post #8943130

Carolyn,

Your kois are beautiful!!! I built a shade for my kois made of heavy plastic and the seem to like it congregating underneath. It will be a long winter but it had been mild so far. Lat year we had 14 inches of snow on Christmas day.

We had 7 people for dinner and I did most of the cooking and set up. I was so busy I forgot to take pictures.

Happy New Year to all!!!

Belle
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 26, 2011
10:52 AM

Post #8943252

Belle

That picture was taken last August. My fish have all congregated at the bottom of my pond.

So glad this winter has been mild so far - it can continue that way for the rest of the winter as far as I am concerned
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 27, 2011
7:01 PM

Post #8944881

We just returned from Fairbanks (Alaska) about an hour ago. The yard is deep in fresh snow. I will try to get a picture out back. Had a good trip. Can't wait to go out and see if I can spot any fish through the tiny deicer hole.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 27, 2011
7:45 PM

Post #8944966

Mary

I always have to check the hole in the snow too to see if I can find any fish. Thankfully, we have been mild enough so the pond has not really had a lot of ice on it.

BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

December 30, 2011
2:28 PM

Post #8948086

Joy,
That pic. sure reminds me of home in Connecticut. My dgt & SIL were in Nova Scocia couple months back and she said it was just like our original home. She drove around while her husb. worked so she got lots of good pictures and e-mailed them to me. Beautiful place.
Carolyn,
love seeing your koi. Hope you can peek at them thru the ice when it comes.
A mild winter is predicted and thats fine with me. If I don't have to drag out all those landscape blankets and cover the plants thats great. Petunias in hanging basket are still full of blooms. Poinsettias are blooming too.
Glad all had such a wonderful Christmas.
Bonnie
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
3:05 PM

Post #8948139

My kohaku has been hanging around the shallow end under the deicer. If the temp drops I will go out and scare him to the deep end. The ice can grow down very quickly and last year it only left about 2" of water. If he fell asleep deeply, not sure he would wake up in time not to be trapped. Heck, I don't know if they even sleep. They are still swimming around. See small and larger ones at the deep end every day although my porthole is much smaller now that the temp has dropped and the snow dumped.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
5:45 PM

Post #8948337

Here are some pictures I just took of the pond. The first one is of the inside of my skimmer. It was filled with goldfish and two koi. We keep a deicer in there to be sure the skimmer doesn't entirely freeze and break.

Thumbnail by Oberon46
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
5:48 PM

Post #8948343

Another of skimmer

Thumbnail by Oberon46
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
5:51 PM

Post #8948347

Poor babies look cold, Mary!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
5:55 PM

Post #8948351

This is a shot of the shallow end of the pond where the skimmer is. The white box on the top is a cover for the heat trace which we put in the line to the biowell to assure it stays thawed all winter. The 4x4 with snow on top keeps the cord for the deicer below it out of the ice. The little dark spot above the snow on the 4x4 is the entrance to the skimmer. We keep a deicer in the skimmer also to keep it front freezing solid (which it wouldn't do right now as it isn't cold enough), but perhaps the water is a tetch warmer??

Thumbnail by Oberon46
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
5:57 PM

Post #8948353

I am a little worried that the fish are gravitating to the deicers. The kohaku was right below the one in front of the skimmer. If we have a cold snap I fear they could get caught in the ice.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
6:00 PM

Post #8948358

Last shot. This is the deep end with similar set up for deicer

Thumbnail by Oberon46
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
6:00 PM

Post #8948359

Mary

I am surprised your koi are not at the bottom of your pond...do they gravitate to the top by the deicers every winter?
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
6:02 PM

Post #8948362

It really looks like winter there. So far, we have only had a dusting of snow and that was last night. Other then that, it has been raining. I'll take the rain over the snow...
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 30, 2011
6:05 PM

Post #8948367

To be honest I have not noticed them doing so. Of course, I have rarely seen them in the winter at all, so this year is quite different. The big difference is the pump circulating water around the bottom of the pond into the caves. I doubt the caves were warmer just because of body temp of fish congregated there. Water temp right now should be barely 33 which I know puts a terrible strain on the fish. But 17 survived last year so I have to hope, since this is milder (knock on wood as Jan-Feb are traditionally the coldest months here) they will all be okay. But, as my son says, it is what it is, and will be what it will be --- no gain in stressing. HA. Easier said than done.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 31, 2011
10:34 AM

Post #8948932

I agree that I live in a very beautiful part of the country.Fredericton is a university and government city..no heavy industry. It used to be called the City of Stately Elms .
We are having an exceptionaly mild winter.We did have a white Christmas.Today we are supposed to have freezing rain.It isn't bad yet.I walked over to a nearby diner for brunch with little trouble.I put a heater in the shell base of our Shady lady.The birds have really enjoyed the watering hole.Yesterday the Grackles were here enmass for a polar swim.They splashed and had a great time ,then they flew to a sunny protected tree and dried off. They emptied 2 suet feeders in one day.The Hairy Woodpeckers tried to drive them off but were outnumbered.
The pond was open the other day so I counted my fish and all were there.I don't keep track of the water temp.
The warm Florida temps sound pretty nice to me .I have to keep myself happy with my orchids and Amaryllis during the winter.I spend a lot of time watching the wild creatures in my back yard!I have the wrong picture but I post the one I intended when I find it.JOY

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 31, 2011
11:41 AM

Post #8948985

Joy

Such a pretty picture - do I see scilla and Polmonaria
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

December 31, 2011
1:22 PM

Post #8949101

Yes Carolyn .the white ones are Blood Root.That is a little wild spot in my garden.I let mother nature do her thing.I still haven't found the birds...a new camera and for some reason I can't find my pictures and then they appear . I wish I was a little smarter about these electronic gagets.Santa brought me a Soney reader that I'm enjoying most of the time ...until I hit a new chapter .JOY

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

December 31, 2011
4:00 PM

Post #8949287

Joy, that is a strange fuzzy looking bird in the middle. :) My neighbor has one she calls Pansy that she can hand feed. Pansy has to fight off the birds from the feeders to get the peanuts and peanut butter.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

December 31, 2011
7:06 PM

Post #8949454

I have the same strange 'fuzzy birds' here too. I was out today looking at everything in the gardens and found this same strange 'fuzzy bird' had dug up some of my Giant Snowflakes...

Thumbnail by Carolyn22
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2012
9:23 AM

Post #8949951

I can't believe you have green stuff in your yard. WAAAAAAA! Much less flowers. I mentioned to Damien we need to sell the house and move south. He said "what about my job." I said "oh, you could move into the condo where your office is." He replied "oh,k I didn't realize that WE meant you and Woody."

LOL. I told him, of course I meant he and I as well as Woody. But that isn't going to happen very soon as his work tends to project a year or so into the future. Course, it wouldn't prevent us from buying land or even a house which I could visit periodically. And plant stuff. Hmmm, that wouldn't work as someone would need to water and do security. I just hate to wait as I want stuff to start growing and maturing before I am wheelchair bound or so stiff I can't even bend over much less kneel
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2012
12:37 PM

Post #8950201

Mary

that picture was taken last May. I did however take a walk into the back and found that my daffs are sprouting...
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 1, 2012
3:07 PM

Post #8950368

Carolyn I'm glad you are honest!!We are covered with ice.The family have made their annual escape to Grand Manan and I've been alone since Friday.The birds have kept me amused,They have had a polar swim in my shady lady shell.They've emptied the suet feeders twice since Christmas.In the absence of the family I fed them left overs.My family are sure I will attract rodents so I refrain when they are around.I would like to feed the crows but just don't have the scraps for them. Do crows like frozen french fries?? JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2012
4:07 PM

Post #8950438

Joy

It would not surprise me if the crows at the french fries. Aren't they scavengers? Perhaps they are not... I do not know for sure.

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 1, 2012
7:19 PM

Post #8950725

We have ravens. Huge 'in your face' birds. They eat everything. I was sitting in my car waiting for Costco to open and there were two in the parking lot. One had something he was eating. He took it to the side of a post, away from the other bird and bug a little hole in the ice and snow with his beak, then put in what he was eating, then proceeded to cover it up with beak and claw. Then casually walked away toward the other bird, you could almost see him whistling very nonchalantly. "Me? Food? no-no!" When the other bird hippty hopped (silly looking walk) a ways a way, the first bird returned quickly to dig up his prize. As the other returned he quickly buried it. It was really comical watching. And they get on the roads looking for road kill.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 2, 2012
1:27 AM

Post #8950969

What makes me laugh is when they are on the side of the road and you go by in your car, they scream at you. It is like they are saying 'Get away! This is mine!'

Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 2, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #8951179

Most definitely!!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 2, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #8951357

I turned off the pump to the bird bath part of the pond this morning and put in the pond heater. Put out the heated Bird Bath so the birds will still have some fresh water.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 3, 2012
10:29 AM

Post #8952839

Oberon, I was just reading on Face Book about the cold temperatures up there.Is it that cold in Anchorage.How can you heater keep up with that cold? JOY
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 3, 2012
11:15 AM

Post #8952888

Well, I assume you mean the pond deicer. I think calling it a 'heater' is rather a misnomer. All mine do ( and I have three, two of the cattle trough type and one of the black innertube shape) is keep holes open in the ice. Right now the hole is pretty much the size of the deicer, but when it is warmer it can thaw out maybe 1x2' of ice. One is in the skimmer to just keep it from freezing into a block and rupturing the plastic box. We also run a heat trace (cable) up the pipe from the skimmer to the biowell. It is thermostatically run only kicking on when the water left in the pipe reaches a certain low temp. Really helps us getting the pond up and running earlier. The guys who built it left a low spot in the pipe where water gathers and there is no way (economically) to dig it up. The first year it was the middle of June before we could thaw it out. then we got the heat trace. Some of the fish hang out in the skimmer and I am assuming that the water in that small space is maybe a degree or two warmer than the pond in general.

And of course the 'heater' in our house keeps us nice and toasty. lol
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 8, 2012
6:30 PM

Post #8959852

Well just when the weather has turned cold my pond heater has died.The ice is solid over the pond so there is no way to get it out.I have another but they only work when they are immersed in the water. If I put on top of the ice I don't think it will do a thing.I just hope my poor fish survive.The bird are enjoying the open water where I have the working heater.It has attracted so many different birds.This may show what they are enjoying. JOY

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 8, 2012
6:48 PM

Post #8959884

Joy

How long has it been frozen over? You may want to pour a pot of hot water over the ice to create a hole.

Unplug the old heater and put the new one on the ice with the plug side/metal side down. It will melt a hole into the ice. One of our heaters died the week before last - this worked for us.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 8, 2012
7:48 PM

Post #8959965

This is the third day.I'll try that. I think the fish will be ok so far .They go almost dormant.Thanks JOY
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 9, 2012
4:53 PM

Post #8961153

Carolyn I did what you told me to and it is working.What a relief ! I hated to take it from the bird bathing spot so I bought another heater.When I arrived home I found an unexpected cheque in the mailbox .Nice surprise...paid for the heater and more.JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2012
6:23 PM

Post #8961285

A check in the mail is always nice -

Glad it worked for you.

Carolyn
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 12, 2012
2:53 PM

Post #8965166

Snowstorm tonight.Hope it fills the poor shady Lady.The bird and critters have lowered the water level in her shell.I don't want to carry water in a pail...not that I could.JOY
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 12, 2012
2:56 PM

Post #8965171

Had a skin cancer remover from the side of my face...today. No pain as yet.JOY
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 12, 2012
6:34 PM

Post #8965444

Hope it continues to be pain free.
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 13, 2012
1:34 AM

Post #8965680

I hope you continue to be pain free as well Joy.

Pouring here right now - works for me.
BonnieGardens
Clermont, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 13, 2012
5:32 AM

Post #8965797

Carolyn,
Send some of that rain down here we need it badly. No. Fl. got some but we didn't.
Today I'm working on preparing backyard vegie garden. Got seed packets yesterday and determined this year to get them started early at least in Feb. cause by March they should be large enough to plant in ground.
Good weekend to all.
Bonnie
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 15, 2012
7:57 AM

Post #8968449

We are experiencing a very cold day today but no wind.The birds are taking advantage of the heated bird bath.My little operation hasn't caused me any pain.I'm starting to use my elliptic trainer and the cramps in my feet have disappeared.It's too cold and icy to walk outside.Spring can't come soon enough for me.Off to a funeral this afternoon.Husband of a dear friend of more than 50 years.JOY

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 15, 2012
10:01 AM

Post #8968581

Winter has arrived. My pond and back yard this morning,

Thumbnail by BeaHive
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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 15, 2012
10:04 AM

Post #8968585

From my bedroom window I was able to see a herd of deer passing thru my neighbors yard looking for something to eat. They were so pretty.

Thumbnail by BeaHive
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BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 15, 2012
10:11 AM

Post #8968593

The snow is already knee deep for my Chihuahua Sweetpea.

Thumbnail by BeaHive
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Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 15, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #8968619

Great pics. Looks like home minus two or three feet of snow. When Woody our chihuahua pom mix goes out back all i can see is the verytip of his plummy tail as he jumps down the snow path. He loves the snow
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 15, 2012
11:33 AM

Post #8968657

Bea

Your pictures are always a treat - poor Sweetpea looks cold!
BeaHive
Dallas, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 15, 2012
1:18 PM

Post #8968789

Thanks Carolyn. She was cold and that pic was about 30 seconds of being put outside.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 15, 2012
1:43 PM

Post #8968829

love your pictures Beahive...amazed that so many deer would be in such a populated area.We haven't much more snow than you...a change from our usual dump. JOY
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 22, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #8978131

Well, another one bites the um, dust? Found one of my larger (6") silver gold fish in one of the open holes in the ice. I thought at first it was the platinum koi that we worked so hard to cure of ulcers last fall, but it didn't look big enough and the dorsal was intact which wasn't the case for the koi. He lost about 1/2" of the front part of the dorsal. I had to dig out the skimmer from about a foot of snow and found several more fish there, all alive - some koi and some gold fish. I can only think it is a tad warmer in there with the deicer and a cap on it with very little ice. We had a cold snap while I was in Hawaii, in the minus' range (10-15F). I wouldn't think it would have much effect on the pond. It is about as cold as it can get down there. Come on spring!!!!!!
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 22, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #8978140

Mary

Has this happened with the goldfish in previous years as well?

I know you had mentioned before about the fish getting into the skimmer - it has to be warmer there. I noticed this year, my fish are all in the deeper end of my pond. Usually they are in the shallower end, but then it dawned on me that the deeper end is where the new deicer is placed. I am thinking that deicer is apparently giving off more heat than the other one.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 22, 2012
5:34 PM

Post #8978195

Yup. Just not as many. Maybe one or two small ones. Now even my larger koi are in there. Of course, my 'larger' koi are only 12". Never this many.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 24, 2012
4:04 PM

Post #8980999

Well we are having another January Thaw.The temperature went up to +12C.The pond is almost wide open.I can see the fish from my window moving about.Would love to go out but once again I'm under the weather. What a weird winter we are having!!
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 24, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #8981001

Oh Joy,

Feel better soon!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 24, 2012
5:58 PM

Post #8981170

Take care Joy. It's nice you can see your fish from your window.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 25, 2012
12:15 PM

Post #8981938

What a difference This is last year on the 23rd

Thumbnail by agedgardener
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agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 25, 2012
12:52 PM

Post #8981993

I took this picture today.The fish aren't visible today but they are there! I saw the Dr yesterday and I'm taking antibiotics.Still not feeling up to par.Tomorrow I go to the plastic surgeon to have the stitches from the skin cancer removal.Wish it had been a face lift! Can't find the picture I took today...will post it when I find it.JOY
Carolyn22
Athens, PA
(Zone 5b)

January 25, 2012
1:49 PM

Post #8982086

I'll take the facelift too! As a matter of fact, I'll take an entire body lift!
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 25, 2012
2:05 PM

Post #8982097

Do you suppose we could get a group discount? Joy, your picture looks like my yard right now. But the ice is very much thinner than last year at this time, so it should melt away more quickly come spring, unless of course we are in for a bad February.
agedgardener
Fredericton N B
Canada
(Zone 4a)

January 25, 2012
8:12 PM

Post #8982482

Oberon that picture of my yard was last year.JOY
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 5b)

January 25, 2012
8:15 PM

Post #8982484

Oh, I understood when it was taken. Just indicating that while this year is better for you snow wise, we are still 2-3' under. It is wierd because our temps tend to be the same roughly; I think the duration of the colder temps is what makes the difference.
Mary

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