Thursday, 3 May 2012

I love my wildlife pond . . .

When we move (eventually), I intend to have a pond, if there isn't one already, but no fish in it, just a wildlife pond - hopefully of a reasonable size.  I get endless pleasure from our wildlife pond here, whereas the goldfish one just gets dirtier! 

The wildlife pond is crystal clear.  So clear in fact, I can always see what the tadpoles are up to unless they are deeply involved in a frondy dark green pond weed which the newts also love.  I have at least 14 newts - I think they are all Palmate, but hard to tell because they don't come near enough for me to see if they have webbed feet. One looks bigger and spottier with more of a dorsal crest so that could be a Smooth Newt. They are out and about in the daytime as well as after dark, and I enjoy watching them so much that I now understand Gussie Finknottle's obsession . . .

We also have pond snails, water boatmen, backswimmers with their two big arms, frogs (a big one shot under the pond weed yesterday), caddis larva (nearly ready to hatch as one is hanging on to some semi-submerged stem today).  I have seen two, both distinguishable by having different "houses" on them - one has mostly old bits of twig from the Snowberry at the edge of the pond, and the other has a long white piece of Snowberry, some red bits ditto and two colourful deep red seeds from the Irises.  These two met up yesterday and appeared to be having a bit of a barney.  DO they fight?  Anyway, the other one is at the bottom of the pond now, so I don't know if he's just there, or beaten to a pulp!  Apparently caddis fly larva are the sign of a REALLY good pond but are only found in 1 in 10 ponds.  We have done something right then.  Today I spotted a big dragonfly larva on a piece of pond weed stem, and that is a positive sighting as last year (after the hard winter we'd had where both ponds almost froze solid) there were none.  The ponds had ice on them this year, but no great amount.

The tadpoles are growing well - less on them, but then they are feeding the predators in the pond.  The bigger ones in the fish pond have all disappeared and a 2nd hatching (newts or toads?) are still in residence - I think!

Does anyone else have a wild life pond?


  1. I do, it is one I dug and planted and tended - actually very soon after it was filled with water the wildlife starting coming. Newts amaze and delight, their courtship dance/swim is mesmerising! I've watched in horror as the dragonfly nymphs predate almost everything and spent many hours on my stomach, face close to the water, watching the watery world beneath the surface.

  2. I'm glad it's not just me then Jennifer! I have just noticed that there is a further caddis larvae rocking his way around the bottom of the pond, but a third - possibly the one who was in the scrap yesterday - not moving a lot, in the bottom of the deepest bit.

  3. No I don't BB but I shall engineer it so that the farmer reads your post as it does sound a super idea. I did once have a pond with newts - in the winter they used to climb out and hibernate under the stones of the rockery in little tight clusters.

  4. I've never had a pond of any sort but I'd love one like your wildlife pond, how lovely to have so many newts - and dragonfly larva as well. I wonder what kind it will be when it takes its adult form?

  5. I love mine too. The water is cloudy this week due to flooding and runoff from the field, but I can`t pass the pond without stopping to look for newts and snails. It is always a thrill to see the first newt of spring!