Friday, 12 August 2011

Making a run for it - August 2011

Although there's been a lot of activity in the pond this year, I hadn't managed to catch sight of any of our new brood escaping to the undergrowth... until a couple of days ago!  Although only about 2cm long and very well camouflaged against the soil, I spotted this perfectly formed baby frog jumping towards cover.

I managed to run and get my camera, and take a couple of photos before it disappeared for good.  Here's the evidence - a little blurry this time as I had no time to set up!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Flowering and fruiting - August 2011

2011 has been an excellent year for lily flowers.  There have been eight flowers in total, with the latest beautiful specimen below.  There's the bud of a further flower peeping up at the bottom of the photo!

  The lily pads have also been larger and more glossy than previous years, having enjoyed the warm air and sunshine during the last month.

I introduced a new marginal plant in July and it has already flowered, adding to the colour of the pond.

Along the back perimeter of the pond is a hedge consisting a mixture of wild roses, honeysuckle and blackberries.  All have taken advantage of the warmth and have flowered profusely, but now the blackberries have cropped strongly, as can be seen below - along with the honeysuckle berries.

Beautifully sweet fresh fruit for picking and eating!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

This year's growing frogs - July 2011

Once again the tadpoles are changing into little frogs, but they are more often than not hiding deeper in the pond, or out in the undergrowth.

So it's nice when one comes up for air and to see the sun - particularly when it takes up its traditional position on a lily pad!  Still has a tail to lose, though.

The water lillies burst into life - July 2011

As soon as the pond was finished in the summer of 2009, I bought two water lilies to be the central feature of the planting end of the pond.  The first lily flowered a number of times in 2010, but the second lily never flowered that year.

But this year... all has changed!  Both lilies are blooming together.  It's going to be a colourful summer!

The pond begins to bloom - May 2011

It's now the start of summer and flowers are showing in and out of the pond.  A perfect complement to the growing tadpoles and baby newts.

I introduced a new oxygenating plant in the spring and, amazingly, it has blossomed with beautiful single white flowers (shown in the first photo).  A lovely surprise!

I bought an iris in the spring of 2010 and, although it grew strongly that year, it didn't flower.  However, this year it has already produced a beautiful yellow flower (second photo) and a further bud as well (third photo).

The final photo shows the lovely overhanging plant that my son, Jamie (the pond's designer) recommended that I introduce.  It helps make the pond more natural, and I intend planting more next year.  The flowers are an extra bonus, adding more beauty!



Monday, 25 April 2011

Winter is over, Spring is here! - April 2011

First of all, I have no update for the winter of 2010!  I did get some photos of the pond with snow on and around it, but technical problems with the memory card in my camera means I lost them.  Well... better luck next winter!

It's now late Spring in 2011.  After a long, frozen spell (brrr!) the pond has come back to life and both plants and wildlife are catching up to where they should be.  Thankfully I removed the pump last year before the sub-zero temperatures started and having re-installed again a couple of weeks ago, the streams are running well.  A little tidying up around the borders has helped to make the area look respectable (although there's still some cutting back and weeding to be done!).

The frogs have been active and two clumps of frog-spawn have turned into tadpoles.  Not as many as last year, but still a good number for the size of the pond.  So far I've seen two full-size frogs and three newts in the pond amongst the tadpoles.  I managed to get some great photos of the frogs,

...  but the newts remain elusive (other than this blurred attempt!).  The newt is well beneath the surface and its tail is pointed down, hence the strange appearance.  The tadpole in the centre of the photo is right at the top of the pond, making it look out of proportion to the newt!

Further photos to come over the next weeks as the lilies re-establish themselves and I introduce new plants into the pond and round the borders, as well as extending the beach a the way along the back.  Watch this space!!