My So Called Pond Life

Welcome to my blog of my backyard Watergarden & Pond. Here you will find tons of pictures of my Pond & Water Garden, Waterfalls, Stream, Turtles, Frogs, Koi, Plants & other Local SO Cal Wildlife that stop in to visit my little ecosystem, plus links to ponds groups, info, and supplies. See how the pond grows over time, & feel free to ask any ?'s you may have about the build, maintance, & costs of building your own backyard pond!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Pond Turtle Burrowing in Garden, Laying Eggs?

Well I have one Large Red Eared Slider, I am assuming a female but not %100 sure, that keeping in the pond has become a game of cat and mouse so to speak! I catch her put her back, then she watches as I walk away gives me a few minutes, then gets out and starts looking for another place to burrow.
After researching some, and getting some great help from the message board at the turtles group link on my page to thr right, I figured she might be carrying eggs and looking to burrow and lay eggs. So I watched where she went, she watched me too-lol, and when I saw where she burrowed herself I figure I let nature be.
Well after a few weeks I got nervous she was ok, dug her out. she like most sliders I have learned, will burrow to lay their eggs about a inch deep in loose mulch. So After digging her out and seeing she was ok, I put her back in the pond, I feed her and she ate like crazy for 5 minutes. The next morning she was gone again, I found her near the same spot she went last time, put her back and fed her again, and she again devoured for 5 minutes. I went inside for maybe 5 minutes and came out to find her strolling through my shrubs into my garden. Then I followed her and watched her burrow again. (SEE PICTURES). Going to give her a week, if nothing I think I have to take her to a HERP VET and see if she is impacted with the eggs. I would love to have baby turtles, but then again I would love for this big one to be ok and stay in the pond! :-)
3 out of 4 of my turtles (3 sliders, 1 painter) stay put like clockwork, they will sun along the banks of the pond and stream, but have never wandered off like the big slider. Well stay tune to see what happens next?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Pond Edging & Landscaping around upper Pond

Ok after I redid the edging for the stream, I just had to keep going. I have some more Ideas ahead but I did this quick little fix last weekend. I like the way the new Cypress I planted blends with the one that was growing in the water, I also like how tthe stream banking continues and wraps around the upper pond on the backside. A quick fix only cost me around $30, $10 for the rock and $20 for the big Cypress. Anyway check it out and let me knwo what you think!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cactus Flower in Full Bloom

Well I have to say the wait was well worth it. I finally got a couple shots of the Cactus Flower in Full bloom. Amazing these flowers grow as large as a foot, then open for one day only and for just a small window of time during that day. I saw it open in the morning close then reopen in the evening! It was in my opinion absolutely cool, and its was extremely fragrant.

Anyway I also got to work over the weekend on some more Edging, Ill take some pictures in the morning. But add some more plants to the edging and used the stone trick I did on my stream on the backside of the top pond by the falls.....check it out later when I post the pictures....I love the before and after! Happy Ponding.....

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cactus and Succulents Flowering around Pond

Here are some shots of some of the Cactus and Succulents I have tucked in and around the pond, and since its summer most are starting or are flowering! Cactus and Succulent flowers to me are some of the most beautiful flowers you will see. Dont believe me just take a look and let the pictures be the judge.I'll try and take some better ones. I Wish the flowers on the tall cactus would open wider, but they keep dying off just before fully opening. :-(
Anyway I thought some of you east coast and colder weather ponders might get a kick out of some of the funky plants us So Cal Ponders have going! lol

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Blooming Water Lilies

What a great morning, nothing like waking up & walking out to feed the koi first thing in the morning, then when you come up on the pond you see two water lilies blooming. I absolutely love lilies, the pads themself I think are just so cool, but then you add what might be one of the most magnificant flowers you will ever see and whats not to love! I'm not sure the exact type of my lilies-I have 5 and want to add more-I believe the White one is a Hardy Lily, a "Queen White", and the purple one is a Tropical, I believe a "Shirley Bryne".

I got them and most of my plants at Sunland Watergardens, who I consider #1 in the LA metro area for pond plants, and believe me I have driven to more then a few all around town. They also run a great little shack of a shop there that sells anything and everything you will need to build your own pond! Great Help and a fun place to just go! They must have like 5 ponds, tons of turtles, Koi galore, and more pond plants then anyplace I ever seen, covering at least a acre!

Getting back to my lilies, I wish the turtles didnt love chumping down on them as snacks, otherwise I think I would get twice to three times as many! There nothing worse then watching a flower shoot out of the base of one of your lilies slowly growing toward the surface, then one day a inch or so before it reaches the surface and gets to bloom, a turtle comes up and takes it out as a snack! :-( Happy Turtles, Sad Me! lol

Some Fun Lilies Facts (from)

Water lilies were once used in ancient Egyptian art.

The largest water lily is the Giant Water Lily. It can be found in the Amazon. It can grow to be 2 feet to 6 feet in diameter. It provides food for fish and wildlife. The only problem is that it causes drainage problems because of its large size.

The swamp lily is a breed of water lily. It reproduces and grows just as the water lily does. The only difference is that it grows in swamps.

The Yellow Lily's roots are sometimes eaten. White Lily's roots are used to treat sore mouths. The smoke from some lilies burning roots has been used to repel insects.

Claude Monet painted many paintings of water lilies. He got the idea because he had a water garden and enjoyed the plants' beauty and difference.

The lotus is a plant that is similar to the water lily. The lotus has leaves that float above the surface and is held above the water on long stalks. The lotus is a plant group made up of mainly herbs and subshrubs.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Bullfrogs, Turtle, and Unknown Flower

Well my Bullfrogs seem to be happy and content in the pond, no defectors yet. Very cool to see them jumping around, I dont hear them, do Bullfrogs make a croaking sound like some other frogs? I Thought Bullfrogs were real loud, maybe I am just missing it, or maybe its late at night. Anyway seems out of my 5 tadpoles, I have 3 frogs, I know one got snagged by most likely a neighborhood cat, not sure what happened to the other, might just be a slow grower, or I am counting them wrong! Anyway here is one of my latest Frog shots--They dont even flich from the camera being 6 inches away!

Then this shot of my Slider Turtle I thought was funny...looks like he is walking on water. He basically can and does now that the water lettuce has grown almost %100 across the pond. Anyone in the SO CAL Area who wants some Water Lettuce please let me know!

And last but not least.....What type of Flower is this??? I have no idea, its has grown out of one of the containers in the yard, and now covers a fence 8 feet high and around 10 feet long! It grows about a foot overnight it seems! But one of the Coolest Flowers I ever saw? Anyone know what it is? A bit worried about some of those flowers getting into the pond, but its a good distance. Anyway if you have any idea please let me know, especially want to know if its poisionious!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pond Turtles seem happy with New Pond Edging

Well it seems my turtles really like the new stream in the pond since I Re-Edged it. Now they dont have to fight over sunbathing spots, only concern is that they will just keep going as there is now nothing holding them back from taking a walk around my back yard. I already have one large slider hibernating in my vegetable garden! lol Anyway I love to watch these guys, they make my pond IMHO. The Minnows also seem to really like the new stream, Ive been watching as they try and swim up to the 2nd pond using the new improved stream. Somehow some have made it, since the 2nd pond is now teeming with minnows too. Trying to figure out some more edging tricks, maybe going to add a beach to stick my feet in! :-) check back soon to see what I do next, the plan is in the works.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hiding Liner - Before & After

Here are the Before and after shot of the stream! 10X more natural looking I think. I cant wait to try my hand at some more edging soon. Just need to come up with my "grand plan". Even God took a few days in creating earth, so If it takes me a year to get my pond exactly the way I want so be it! Half the fun at least for me is the tinkering and re-arranging on the pond and plants. Anyway Hope this helped some with the same problem, I know I was at my end of ideas for hiding the stream liner--so again a big thanks to the guys at amazing aquascape..I am going to get me one of their Natural Pool One Day so I can swim with my Koi and Turtles! :-) lol

My only concern with the stream now is that it is even easier for predators and or my turtles to get in or out! Hopefully my turtles are happy where they are, all but the big slider who has buried itself in my vegetable garden! lol Only time shall tell....

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pond Edging

Pond Edging, as any amateur ponder knows is one of the hardest parts of building a pond IMHO! I had used broken up concrete from a old patio I took out with a sledgehammer to edge most of my pond! And was pretty happy with the results as the plants and landscape started growing in. Well as happy as any tinkering pond'er can be! LOL

After Starting the blog and so many people coming to view my site and message boards (over 2000 inthe first week), I was more then overwhelmed! Now with some great suggestions and comments from Viewers coming in, one in particular from Amazing Aquascapes, it was time to get back to work on the pond to incorporate some great suggestions.

So Here is the results, I took out the concrete rocks lining the stream, and added River Rock to the Banks to allow the plants to grow down and try and get a more natural look to my pond....And after doing so I think it does look 100 times better....I will work on some more edging soon....I had tried sticking peices of moss and other ground covers in between rocks to hide liner in spots, and it has worked in spot and failed in others. Some drying out before taking off, others loving it and growing like carazy! Below is the Message from the Kind People at Amazing Aquascapes whose free help was more then I could have asked for. Thanks Guys.

**Message from Amazing Aquascapes 8/1/05****

As for how your pond looks, it's not bad. You need to work on your edging a bit. In this picture

I circled in red the rocks I'd remove and in blue where I'd fill with gravel and then dirt on top of the gravel so it blends into the surrounding landscape. You can then plant the dirt/gravel to soften it. Right now your pond looks man made because the edge is all the same. Break it up. Don't get me wrong, it looks good, but if you broke up the edging, it would look better.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blue Damselfly Visit Today

Last week it was a pair of Orange Dragon Flies enjoying the pond, this week what I thought was a blue one, was actually a blue damselfly ! They are so pretty! The Oranges Ones were easier to get a picture of, this blue one refused to sit still! lol He did seem to be enjoying

PS-Im off to the Home Depot to pick up a few bags of river rock. Going to use the suggestion from Amazing Aquascapes, A Big THANKS, and fix up my stream! Check back later today or tomorrow when I add shots of the FIX! And then you can let me know if it was worth it. Check out the message board to see the Post and Pictured Description of Amazing Aquascapes Help and Suggestion. Thanks again guys

Pond Plants, Frogs, and Turtles

Here are a few shots of the pond from this morning (8/4/05). My Water Lettuce has gone completely berserk! It has now overtaken almost %90 of my pond! Anyone interested in trading a pond plant you are in abundance of for some of my water lettuce, please let me know. Will trade my floaters for extra lillies, bog plants or other floaters. I saw bunches of 30 going for $25 on ebay or 10 for $10..see link

Anyway It seems my Water Lettuce is creating new shoots each and every day, sometimes they feel like they multiple overnight! Turtle and Frogs seem to be happy as they can jump climp and hide all over the pond! Also seems my water is absolutely crystal clear.....water lettuce roots do such a good job at filtering......Thanks and check back soon for more photos--going to do some repairs the next few days thanks to the great people at amazing aquascape-check out the post on the message board. Any and all comments always welcome

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