Thursday, 3 May 2012
I love my wildlife pond . . .
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?