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Sat, 31 Jul 2010
Baby Racoon hanging out in a tree in our backyard. This is the second litter of racoons we have seen since we have lived here 6 years. We filmed him only a few days after the visit from the Barred Owl.Sat, 24 Jul 2010
Building the koi pond was one of the better decisions I have made for the kids and the family in general.We have seen so many creatures as a result of putting a small body of water right under our dining room window.
Baby turtles show up in early summer late spring, baby water snakes in late spring. Big dragon flies hover right outside the window. Anoles and skinks regularly come to the pond to drink water. Frogs come in the spring. If you got to the window and look outside there is no telling what you might see.
Last night was no exception. We heard a rustling by the koi pond and everyone went over to investigate. Sitting on the rail of our deck was a large Barred Owl who was hunting for something in the pond. Barred Owls have been known to fish and there are definitely snakes in the pond he would probably like to eat. We managed to get about a minute of good footage of the owl and it is on vimeo if you want to see it.
I have documented some of the other koi pond visitors in the past few months as well. Below we have a baby Red Eared Slider.
I have seen broad banded and diamond back water snakes this year, both non poisonous. We have never seen a poisonous snake in the pond. Below is one of the babies that showed up this spring..
Well.... I guess this means that the koi pond is now short one more fish.
I snapped this picture of a mid sized blotched water snake exiting our Koi pond around 7pm this evening. I have seen at least 3 snakes lurking in the pond at a given time. There is a big mama snake, this one which is about medium sized compared to the big one and a very small one about 5 - 6 inches in legnth. Clearly there are probably more little ones.Thu, 03 May 2007
Today I rounded up the kids and went to white rock lake to get some washed up driftwood for a turtle log. The kids are thrilled with this new turtle visitor to the pond and they have named it Aiden.Wed, 02 May 2007
I got the camera, went outside and reached around the corner with the camera to take a shot of the pond without scaring the turtle away. I got the turtle although it was so small it appears a little blurry. I also inadvertently captured a juvenile water snake hiding in the fountain.
I am really excited to see this kind of wild life making our pond home. I have no idea how the baby turtle managed to get in this pond, it had to have scaled some steep rocks to get in there. There is a drainage creek that runs through the back yard but it is down about 30 feet in an eroded canyon. If the turtle decides to stay it will be a source of great entertainment for my kids. I may have to make a trip to white rock lake tomorrow to get piece of driftwood for the turtle to perch on.Wed, 04 Apr 2007
It is springtime again and time to attempt to teach the kids lessons about life and wildlife. So several weeks ago I put some tadpoles into the kids pond hoping to establish some frogs this year.
Frogs, according to the experts I have consulted, typically try to return where they spawned to procreate. This is why no frogs got busy in the pond last year even though the pond is less than 100 feet from a creek that has wild frogs in it.
Many American toads are also in the vicinity and I am hoping one will hop in and discover this pond as well. Unfortunately most of the small toads I see have developed minor deformities, like a small extra limbs sticking out of their heads. I have read that this is a result of pesticides in the water runnoff. I guess its a good thing we only drink bottled water.
So far it looks like only one of those tadpoles has survived, but it appears to be thriving. It has sprouted its back legs and is starting to sprout its front legs. I am really hoping the water snake does not return to the pond before this one completes its transformation.Sun, 08 Oct 2006
In the post last June I mentioned the foolish idea of creating a habitat where the fish and the snake could co-exist. I was thinking incorrectly that I could add porous rocks and the fish would have places to hide. All the fish were gone shortly thereafter and an any efforts to stock the pond with new fish or tadpoles only made the snake bigger. So I eventually gave up and left the pond empty for a month and the snake went away. I went ahead and built a small waterfall added some more rocks and I am continuing to add plants as my limited time permits.
Then my kids started asking about why there are no fish in the pond so we went and got some. Just four ten cent goldfish. The goldfish have done well and grown big enough not to be eaten by the snake at least not yet.
But the snake is back! It showed up a day after I introduced a new bullfrog tadpole to the pond. It ate the tadpole and a couple of smaller fish but the larger goldfish appear to be too big to eat now. When the snake arrived the first time it was after I put tadpoles in, hmmm. Sat, 10 Jun 2006
Killer of small aquatic creatures captured on film
Sun, 19 Jun 2005
Koi pond construction 1