I found my large rocks and boulders here, there and everywhere...woods, lakes, friends farms... that's a lot of hauling in a little 4 banger chevy, but I have been collecting for awhile. Actually I moved all of this from my old house, about 3 miles away, just 2 years ago. Yup! Ripped up the stream..&.pond liners and took all the rocks too. About 5 or so hundred plants as well.
More pictures to come~~~ Sharon, hope you enjoy the front ( 2nd pic) of my last fall into the pond, I believe there are 13 falls in all
I have a small country lot 150' x ? 300 with a ridge running across the back yard. My water feature is in the center and there are 2 LOL sledding hills for the little ones,1 on each side.
and it is I, who does the maintenance and construction lol
The birds are wonderful, to many to name ...but I favor the many woodpeckers and hummingbirds...this week brought out quite a number of the hummingbird moths. I have a mossy rock in the stream which usually sports 3-5 frogs on it..another 3 or so in the pond. And a male garter snake under the bottom fall.I've seen his love but don't know where she lives yet--- did chase her out of the dog pen for her own good lol.
Thanks all... I wish I could invite you all over to have a nice sit n enjoy with me.
it does make a body feel good
the pond has a few deeper holes... for water lilies and a pond pump ( anyone have a 1800-2000 gph pump they don't want ? cheap lol)
the south side is shallow for the grandkids to play in and maybe a little late night SkinnyD.
The ground below it is damp ( many small spings under there ) and had/has many roots... so I made my worker friend understand~~~ the hole is only about a foot deep but the pond is being built up on the sides for depth.
I wanted it to look like a plateau. LOL my whole yard slants from the road out front to the bottom of my property out back...except the (hoping it s flat~) place where they built the house. Once he understood (sort of) work began there .. lol wish I had a photo of that mess!
I had a bucket in the shed with water and the top was frozen this morning. The pond is totally ice free yet. I took the flashlight out to look and one gold fish and one koi were sitting in front of the cave entrance where they winter. The ground is all frosty and the greenery that is left is pretty much finished with the frost. I have a couple of lilies coming way late and will probably just pot them up and store them for winter rather than hacking a hole in the dirt. This is the first year I planted tulips in a pot. They are outside getting chilled right now but I will being them in soon for storage. I wanted D to move some crockery pots filled with dirt for me but he has been too busy so I will have to roll them to the end of the path then lift them into the cart. If I don't empty them the soil and water therein will expand and crack them.
I just erased a really obnoxious 'pitty party' for one regarding Laura leaving and winter coming on. I just need to keep planning for next spring (March will be here soon :) ) and work on my knitting and crocheting. And walking Woody more often for both our good.
Got my Pondovac 4 and used it. Sucks up sand from bottoms real well but not leaves and I only had a few. Oak leaves are very small so thought it would really suck them up. The 2 or 3 it sucked up blocked it up immediately. My son tried it out also and he wants me to send it back to Fostser & Smith but I guess I'll keep it as it does get sludge and sand out but it needs vacuumimg again already and just did it last weekend. How you only do it twice a year I don't know but it sure wouldn't stay free of leaves and crud that long here. It doesn't both the fish so thats one good thing.
I'm busy now treating a fish my son bought. It's 26" long and 24 pds. and really torn up bad from people chasing them around in the mans pond that had them. My son tripped over a cement block in pond bottom and he thinks fish got hurt on that. I saw him get it out with a fish sock so that certainly didn't do the daamage. I learned a lot about moving large fish. I bought a fish sock right away. The really protects the fish when handling them. No net to get caught up in. I also bought a 150 gal. stock tank Rubbermaid to put her into with meds. Had to cover it all over with screen and bricks but she broke the screen and almost got out so then we covered it with plexiglass and cement blocks. Lord she's strong. She has calmed down and hopefully I can heal her up. We ea. bought 5 large ones cause we got them at a great price. Mine are all butterfly and his are straight sided. Had to sell and give away some to clean out larger pond for them. Now my favorites are back in old pond and doing well. Hopefully they won't catch anything from being in there with her. She has major skin tears on her tail that look awful. Ones on her sides are already doing well. Sometimes I think I'm nuts for doing stuff like this but my son likes her so I am trying. Someday he will build large pond and take them home with him. I got a few picks I put on another thread but hey aren't real good. Very hard to get good pics under trees with all the over flash into the water. Will try again when the sun is just right.
Happy ponding, Bonnie
Bonnie, I don't have that many leaves and those I scoop out with a skimmer. Mostly it is algae and some pea gravel that gets dumped out of the lily pots. I wouldn't think it would do well for leaves. Even Algae can clog the end in the pond (it looks just like a vacuum cleaner nozzle). But it does clean up the bottom of gunk and such really well. Even can vacuum the larger rocks in the deeper end; it is only probably 5x5 on the bottom and no way to clean it short of emptying the pond if it weren't for the vacuum. I am sorry it doesn't do all you wanted. For the expense maybe you should return it?
Leaves are not our issue so much either - rather surprising when you think of it. There are 2 trees on the one end of the pond. I think most end up in the skimmer like Mary's. We vacuum 2x a year to get the crud so the fish don't spend the winter in it and then when we start up - so the fish have a clean pond for the year. Probably the biggest factor from plants would be the waterlilies.
I only have a leaf problem once or twice a year, and I use a net to get them once they sink. The underwater flow moves them all to one corner of the pond. I DO get acorns, which annoy the crud out of me, and also camphor berries, which are also a pain in the behind. I use a net on them too, because both go immediately to the bottom.
Once I get the new pond done, it will move away from the camphor and oak tree, and adopt a sycamore tree, which will have the jumbo brown paper bag sized leaves. I'm assuming they will float longer and be skimmed?
Oberon, for what it will do I have decided to keep it. Getting the crud out of the bottom is great. Just need to do it at least every 2 weeks.
Carolyn, we have skimmers on both ponds and we replaced the face plates that came with them with hardware cloth cause leaves would go in and block up pumps plus fish were going in and couldn't get out and died in there so we cured that problem.
When the oaks shed they really shed. I will try netting both ponds this year but if it doesn't work as Mary does I will scoop twice a day again. Oh the joys of ponding.
However, they are worth the effort. Heck wouldn't want to be bored now would we.
I've learned many factors affect a pond. Water source, plantings around pond, type of trees around pond, wind born debris etc. etc.
Before I had top of our pool enclosure repaired I had huge sycamore leaves that floated for a while and then settled on the bottom. I hate that tree but Charlie put it in backyard years ago and its still there unfortunately. We had just a couple of tears but thats all it took to let them blow in. Glad they can't now.
Bonnie, I can't figure out how you can have so much crud in the bottom that you have to clean it out every 2 weeks? I know that I fight algae and could just scream at how it covers the walls and bottom but I have no shade at all. I am forewarned and forearmed this year. I bought a few gallons of Algaway 5.4 to being early in the year before it gets to Jurraisic (phew on spelling) proportions.
Bonnie - are you vacuuming because of leaves or are you vacuuming because of crud? One thing that works well on the crud is the Pondzyme with Barley. It has enzymes that eat the crud. We buy it in the fall because it is less expensive. I found a great deal for it on Amazon this year.
My main problem is leaves and debris that blows in. I use pondzym and have for years. I dread when winter really gets here and the leaves start to really fall. I hate to but I am going to net them with bird netting and if that doesn't work I'm going to get deer netting. It has very small openings,.
My ponds are right near a highly used road and I think the cars blow sand into ponds when flying by even tho it is paved blacktop. Vac does get that stuff out very well but can't let it go a whole year. I would have a sandpile. When I emptied them and pressure washed them there was always a pile of sand in the middle which I had to vac. out with wet/dry shop vac. I'm hopeing I won't have to empty the ponds completely now that I can vacuum them if water quality stays good. At least its oak trees which have very small leaves. Both ponds are under same oak tree as it is huge. I raised it from a little spring and now its above the power lines. Power co. workers prune it hard every 3 years and it looks awful but thats their rules. Grows back gracefully.
Will check on Amazon for pondzyme.
It does sound like the crud from the road, dust and what not. Bonnie - what concerns me about that is any chemicals that would come with the dust - cars deposit oils, gasoline and whatnot into the road, which will be picked up by the dust.
So far, though, Bonnie - you haven' really had any problems with your water quality or any mass fish death. So it sounds like you are handling it.
Shoot. Hadn't even thought about that - stuff that is thrown off from cars. Oil, anti-freeze leaks. Oh, I forgot. You don't have anti-freeze in Florida. lol. But I think anti-freeze is also used to keep cars from over heating also. Can't quite figure out how it goes both ways.
MM, my whole front fence is covered with confederate jasmine and thats close to old pond and I'm sure leaves from that probably blow in plus leaves from all the other plants that surround ponds. I'll just use the vacuum more often. Heck the leaves from oak trees haven't started droping yet now that really is a bunch. I will go on dip netting them off. Have never had any acorns drop yet so thats good.
Oberon we sure do use anti-freeze in Fl. It's in all of our farm equipment and cars.
We do on occasion dip down to 27 degrees some nights. Luckily it doesn't usually last too long. Thats how we lost all of our orange trees in this area. Now south Fl. has more citrus than we do. 3 years of back to back freezes did it. Replanting costs a fortune and takes a few years for a tree to produce anything worth picking.
I still miss our hamlin trees which were juice fruit. We turned it all into pastutre and have a few cows. Has to remain Aggri. for tax purposes.
MerryMary, tangerines are droping but they aren't ripe yet. Will keep a check on them and let you know if that tree has anything good enough to eat on it.
Very nice, elfenqueen, looks like alot of work!
I have one fourth of that Dunk left that you sent me, it worked very well. I was even able to only use a fourth at a time in my fountain. There's that little bridge like mine, only yours is more in use than mine is, I don't have any water!
Congratulations EQ, that's what I'd call a great win. Top soil here costs a fortune. I top dress my gardens with old manure I have piled out back. Fl. soil is just sand so it really needs it more often than I do it.
I'm sitting here watching 2 little titmouse taking turns in my bird bath. I'm also waiting for the eastern bluebirds to make an appearance. We have 3 nesting boxes up and last year all were used. We had a large purple martin given to us one year for Christmas and nothing has ever used it so I'm giving it back as my dgt. and her husb. in N. Fl. get them by the ton. Might be because they live in a swampy area and have more mosquitoes for them to eat. I see 2 Carolina wrens and sometimes they make a nest out front. Hope they do this year. One bird I can always rely on coming is doves. They are on the feeders every day along with cardinals and blue jays. Hope others enjoy the birds like I do. I keep 3 feeders plus 2 birdbaths for them at all times.
Take care all and those in the cold climates think spring.
Happy New Year to all also.
Only have seen 1 little dove today even though I filled all their seed tray. I think they are all out in the woods seeking cover from the cold.
Temp is dropping rapidly. Supposed to be down to 26 early morning. I hope weather men are wrong.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the weathermen are wrong too! I know a lot of people laugh at the fact that we'll be in our 20's, which if I was still living in Ohio, I probably would too...but they don't understand that we are a tropical region. So a freeze breaks our pipes, kills our landscaping, harms our tropical animals, and causes the rest of the nation to NOT have oranges, orange juice, strawberries, ferns, gladiolous, and most tropical "anything" you'd like for several years to come. I talked to my friend up in Atlanta today, and they've already closed the schools for tomorrow. Remember, any moisture and none of us south of the Mason-Dixon have snow plows or salt or anything else. That's why I'm very compassionate when I see the 100 degree temps up north, I GET it! It's the opposite of what we always deal with, but it's an extreme that that particular region can't deal with.
Hopefully this freeze for us will be short and without much issue. I know the rest of you up north are going through an abnormally cold week too! I feel for all of you! Be safe!
Seems crazy that yesterday I was in the pond fixing a place for fish to hide and fixing a few fallen in rocks. It's about 8:30AM here now and its 33.
Don't think I'll go wading today.
Just made me some oatmeal w raisins and applesauce. Yum and warm.
Strawberry growers were out this morning on news getting sprinklers set up to put water to freeze on plants to protect them. I had to laugh when announcer said Lake County had 10,000 acres of citrus to protect. I remember when we had much more than that little bit. I still miss our little grove of 15 acres.
M. Mary I'm watching the few tangerines on tree for you and will check them come Feb. to see if any are sweet enough to eat. I sure wish we still had our naval tree as they are my favorites. And of course the most expensive to buy. They just aren't ripe enough when you buy them even at roadside stands. They are picked too green. I used to order Color Add and the gas to use on oranges to give them that lovely orange color that people in the north see in their stores. The gas sweetens them up the color makes them beautiful. I used to work in a fruit packing house office. Our grove was hamlins which is juice fruit so all they had to pass was a sweetness test. They sure were good when fully ripe. I used to squeeze our own juice all the time. Always held out a couple of trees when the pickers were here so we would have some. My kids say they still miss it.
Funny thing you mention gas for the fruits, Bonnie. My MIL lives in Watertown NY (Siberia if you ask me) She told me that she does not buy peaches because they are gased and very hard. She had not had a fresh peach in ages. I had never known that - I had always taken it for granted and bought bushels of peaches when the Pennsylvania peaches came in and made jam, cobblers and froze them too. Makes you wonder
I have been in FL when the oranges have come into season. There is nothing better - they are as good as the fresh peaches! What I never did have when I was in your neck of the woods was the fresh red grapefruit. Love the things. I peel them and eat them like oranges.
You are sure right about fruit here. If you leave it on the tree until about March then they are really ripe and delicious. Ruby red grapefruit is the best. I miss our grove.
We did warm up but Charlie says its going down again so I will definitely watch the weather tonight. Hope it waits until tomorrow as I don't have anything covered or potted stuff brought in. I think I get slower every year. Hard to keep up with mother nature.
Is your pond all iced over now? I know you miss your fish but spring will come.
Been at friends ranch again for 2 days. Didn't see any deer but about 25 wild turkeys.
Kept her fireplace going all day and evening. Couldn't ride out today cause rainy and too cool to ride around in a golf cart.
Been told N. Fl. is getting snow flurries. Thank God it hasn't come down this far though in some rare occasions past years I have seen it. Kids go bonkers and think its wonderful.
Elfin your stream is just beautiful can't wait to see it running and I'm sure you are anxious too.
Carolyn, THINK SPRING
I haven't fed my fish for 3 days. Water temp is just too low. Big fish in larger pond are just laying on the bottom. Guess they are warmer. Smaller fish in old smaller pond are zipping around like usual.
In the 50's here today but dreary drizzly bone chilling rain. No sun for about 5 days how sad.
I've been inside catching up on mending and some sewing projects. I'm getting cabin fever. Oh for some sun.
Forecast -tomorrow up in the 70's and Sun 80's. Sure will have to change to make it up that high but it's possible.
Been studying up on raising water lilies. Found some wonderful videos on how to pot them up.
No wonder I killed the 3 I had. Mitsy sent me some from NY and brought some down here wither (bless her heart). Bought 1 from fish farm. They are too expensive to kill. I'll find someone that is raising them around here and try again. Before I do I'll get the proper pots or washtubs and proper fertilizer and clay, loamy soil. One place said no manure so I'll not use that. I'll do further research before I buy any more.
Here is the video I was watching plus some others near it. Hope I copied this down right. http://www.ask.com/youtube?q=Caring&for&water&lillies&V=bzsu87uni7&qsrc=472 if anyone is interested in potting instructions.
Once the weather gets warmer, I'll give you a start of my purple one, Tina. They are very easy to grow, and develop new plants from the center of their leaf, so there's less stress about potting them up. :)
we tried a tropical waterlily once and the koi thought it was candy and ate it down to nothing. Do you have this problem with the tropicals? They never touch my hardy waterlilies. What do you do to prevent this?
The purple tropical I have works in very very shallow water...so I usually nuzzle it between other things. Occassionaly I lose a leaf or 2, but it never goes all the way to the heart of the plant, which is extremely prolific. The bees love it too, so I end up with seeds sinking to the bottom. We've had some freezing/close to freezing temps over the last week or 2, and it's still blooming anyway.
MM, is that was is called valiferous or something like that. Gets a plantlet like kolanchoes.
This time I'm going to be prepared with proper container, fertilizer tabs, clay to mix with top soil from yard.
Read all the info. on Texas water lily site. Good stuff.
Also, watched videos from another water garden site. I'll keep them in tub until I see if they live and then get a protector bag so they can go into small pond. Big one doesn't get enough sunlight for them. Says 6 to 8 hrs. needed.
Elfen: Beautiful view-----from here. LOL
Temps in the 80's here today. Next Wed. supposed to take a dive down again. Crazy weather.