We have two ponds in our backyard. What we call
the "lower" pond we had built shortly after we moved in. Later, Joe
built the "upper" pond, with a waterfall, an adjacent bog, and a stream
that connects the two ponds. We also installed a larger pump and
biological gravel filter. At the same time, Joe modified the lower pond
to make the sides steeper and also dug it a little deeper.
ponds are filled with a variety of plants such as horsetail, papyrus,
water lettuce, arrowhead. Some thrive and try to take over, while some
just last a season. Of course, we have several varieties of water
lilies too, and they bloom from April or May until October. Laura
spends a couple of days each spring wading around in hip boots
repotting plants and cleaning out debris. Every few weeks she dons her
waders again and fertilizes the lilies and gets rid of old leaves.
ponds are a wonderful haven for all sorts of animals. The chief
inhabitants are the "eight-cent goldfish," descendants of a small batch
that we bought from Petsmart. They have multiplied only too well and
can survive almost anything. They do get occasionally raided by a great
blue or green heron.
have a fine crop of leopard frogs almost every
year. We used to have many American toads and sometimes a few cricket
frogs, but the recent drought has made them scarce. Snakes are
mostly red-striped garter or checkered garter. Every once in a while,
we get a larger kind of water snake. We've caught and released several
Insects are abundant and include dragonflies and damselflies, water striders, and water beetles. Oh, and there are leeches, too.