Archive of posts with the category 'Pond'
Three clumps of frog spawn appeared in our pond on the 15 March 2010. I assumed that would be “it” for this year but this morning there was another clump in the pond. I also noticed that there are quite a few smooth newts in the pond now and I suspect they’ll take their toll on the tadpoles.
Yesterday I was really pleased to see a clump of frog spawn in the pond. The appearance of frog spawn is slightly earlier than last year (18th March) and later than both of the previous years (3rd March and 23rd February). Sorry for the arty photo 🙂 This morning I was even more pleased to see two more clumps of spawn. This is the most we’ve ever had in the pond. One big difference this... Read on
I spent some time clearing up the pond this weekend. The pond was getting a bit overgrown (as seen on the pond timeline). It was fairly chilly work but it’s the best time to clear out the excess weed from the pond as the animals and plants haven’t really got going yet. As a result the effect of removing the weed has the lowest impact on other things. Despite the cold weather, and it being... Read on
Whilst clearing up some of the vegetable beds this afternoon I noticed a butterfly species new to the garden. I saw a single Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) feeding on the flowers of the Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) growing in the margins of the pond.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a photo of the butterfly but I did take one of the Fleabane flowers:
Common Fleabane flowers
We’ve got a flowering rush in our pond but, I think, it’s the first year it’s actually flowered. It’s pretty spectacular and has a great scientific name to boot – Butomus umbellatus
Flowering rush in flower
Happy 4th Birthday pond! It’s four years ago today that we started filling the pond… it’s become well established since then:
A view of the pond on its fourth birthday
Whilst working on stage 2 of the testudarium today I had plenty of time to look out for interesting things in the garden. The first things I spotted was the first damselfly of the year. This is a Large Red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), it was probably a female and had only recently emerged from the pond as it was rather reluctant to fly (which meant photographing it wasn’t too tricky): Whilst clearing a bit of... Read on
Having posted on Sunday about the lack of frog spawn I was really pleased to see a clump of frog spawn in the pond this evening. The appearance of frog spawn is later than last year (23rd February) and the previous year (3rd March) – I don’t care how late it is though, I’m always really pleased to see it in the pond.
A clump of frog spawn in our pond (March 2009)
I’ve not been able to spend much time in the garden recently and it was starting to show. Fortunately, a weekend at home and some good weather today meant I could get out and cross a few jobs off the list. The first thing I tackled were the Vervain (Verbena officinalis) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) plants near the house. These flowered beautifully in the summer but needed cutting back as they were getting a... Read on
For the first time our native honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) has flowered:
Native honeysuckle flowers
The Betony (Stachys officinalis) I planted late last year has also flowered:
At the back of the pond the yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) is also now in flower:
Yellow loosestrife in flower
We released our first froglet on the 5th May and over the last few weeks we’ve been releasing froglets on a daily basis. Sometimes we’ve released froglets in the morning and the evening as they’ve been developing so quickly.
I’ve also been keeping a record of the number of froglets we’ve released and the grand total was 172 froglets!
Today is the third birthday for our pond. It seems amazing that it was three years ago today that we first turned on the tap and filled the pond. I’m still stunned at the impact the pond has had on the garden and the wildlife in it. To celebrate the birthday here’s a set of pictures taken on the pond’s birthday each year: 2005 The pond being filled in 2005 2006 The pond on its... Read on
Whilst having lunch next to the pond we noticed this fantastic Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator). The dragonfly was next to its nymphal exuviae so had obviously climbed out of our pond. Emperor dragonfly drying its wings having emerged from the nymphal skin I also noticed this horse-fly (Tabanus sp.). The larvae of horse-flies live in damp soil so I suspect this one could’ve originated from the mud surrounding the pond. Adult horse-fly We’re also now... Read on
For Christmas V bought me some native roses and I’ve been really pleased to see that the plants have done so well in just their first year. Almost all of the plants have flowered and the scent has been great.
Burnet rose flower (Rosa pimpinellifolia)
The native plants in the pond have also been in full flower:
Ragged-robin flowers (Lychnis flos-cuculi)
Water Avens flowers (Geum rivale)
The water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis) has done really well in the pond this year. The plants have expanded considerably across the surface and produced a wonderful carpet of flowers.
Water-crowfoot in flower
Last year we had smooth newts (Triturus vulgaris) in the pond from the beginning of March. This year I first spotted one at the end of March. However, their numbers have steadily increased since then and this weekend the pond was teeming with them.
This evening we released our first froglet. The spawn came from our pond on the the 23rd February so it’s taken 73 days for the first frog to go from spawn to froglet.
Here is the first froglet to be released into the wild:
…and here’s the froglet sculling across the pond after release:
When we first built the pond in 2005 one of the early visitors was a water measurer (Hydrometra stagnorum). I assumed it came in on a plant but could easily have flown to the pond. Over the last two years I’ve only seen one or two a year. They run across the surface film and feed on mosquito larvae which they spear from above with their mouthparts. However, over the Bank Holiday weekend I saw... Read on
The weather has been quite warm this weekend (residents in the UK will note that this is unusual) and this has encouraged some of the damselfly and dragonfly nymphs in the pond to emerge and make their final moults. This was the first damselfly we spotted this year. It’s hard to tell what species it is until they’ve had a chance to develop their adult colours but I almost positive it’s a large red damselfly... Read on
OK, so the title might be a bit grand but the warm weather we’ve had recently has really helped the flowers in the garden. Almost everywhere you look there are flowers or buds about to burst. One flower I really like to see at this time of year is the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). It has masses of beautiful yellow flowers: Not to be out-done, the Bog Bean (Menyanthes trifoliata) in the pond is also... Read on
On the 23rd of February we found a large clump of frog (Rana temporaria) spawn in our pond. Last year many of the tadpoles were eaten by our newts so I thought I’d bring in a small piece of the spawn this year and rear it through. The spawn has been in a fish tank in our kitchen since the end of February. The remaining spawn in the pond has now hatched and the tadpoles... Read on
Few events can herald the arrival of spring like the appearance of frog spawn. Our pond received its first clump of wild frog spawn last year but we’ve yet to see any adult frogs (Rana temporaria) in our garden despite being in our house for almost four years. It’s not through lack of looking either. However, see them or not, adult frogs obviously do visit our garden as, within the last 24hrs, we’ve had a... Read on
To celebrate the New Year I lifted the remainder of our parsnips. Parsnips were one of the few vegetables that did well this year. For a lot of our crops the summer was just too wet. However, the wet summer did produce the best parsnips we’ve grown so far. We also had two parsnips that had intertwined and grown in an interesting sprial. Having lifted the parsnips V then did a fantastic roast with them... Read on
Yes, I know, it’s pretty late to be getting my bulbs in but I’ve been busy 😉 I’ve planted a mixture of snowdrops and crocuses around the top of the steps leading up into the garden. They should give us some nice, early colour in spring and be easily visible from the house. I’ve planted lots of daffodils around the greenhouse. I’m also trying to naturalise some Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) around the pond... Read on
Today was the first hard frost of the year. The thermometer in the greenhouse registered the night time temperature dropping to -5°C. This did mean the morning was very cold but the garden looked beautiful…. so I took a few pictures:
View across the frosty green roof:
Frosty edge to the green roof:
Frost on a house leek (Sempervivum sp.) on the green roof:
Frost on sedum (also on the green roof):
A week ago I mentioned that there were newt tadpoles still in the pond. These smooth newts (Triturus vulgaris) must be intending to spend the winter in the pond rather than emerge at this late stage.
Anyway, as I had my camera out today, I thought I’d take a picture of one:
Despite the cold weather there are still a few cold-bloodied creatures that are active in the garden. Whilst tidying up around the edge of the pond today I found a young smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris). I’m not sure if they’re called Efts after they’ve left the pond but this newt was only 3cm long so will definitely have been one of this year’s brood. I’ve also been noticing a few other young newts remaining within... Read on
Today was a very exciting day. Our pond is only about 21 months old and today we noticed our very first clump of wild frog spawn in it. The spawn is from the common frog (Rana temporaria) but, other than some donated frog spawn we had last year, we’ve never seen a frog in our garden. True to form, the parents of this spawn were nowhere to be seen. It’s interesting to note that frogs... Read on