Saturday, June 18, 2011

Catching Fry

Today we spotted more than one fry in our pond.  The new fry are significantly smaller than the first one we saw a few days ago so we aren’t sure if the difference is due to date of spawn or difference in species.  Either way this peaked our interest.  So, being “empirical types” we decided that we wanted to get a better look at them.  No matter how hard we tried to catch the smaller ones, we simple couldn’t keep them in our net.  However, we were able to capture the larger fry and transport it into one of our waterfall pools for closer observation.


Our task became quite elaborate as the sun set.  The lack of sun light meant that we pulled multiple flash lights out to help our observation.  Even Maddie wanted to come see what was going on…well not that she cared about the fish, but as a loyal dog she wanted to be where we were.


Eventually Barbie was able to catch the fry with her hands so that we could get some pictures of it with her hands for size reference.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Water Hyacinths

The Water Hyacinths that we added to our pond a couple weeks ago are taking to our pond extremely well.  They have been blooming for a few days now and have added a wonderful splash of vibrant color to our back yard.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Confirmation of Fish Species

This morning we were able to get confirmation of what species of fish we have in our pond.  We knew that there was some Koi in there since we introduced some ourselves, but nothing definitive could be made about the others.  That is, until Barbie solicited help from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  They were able to confirm as we suspected that most of our fish were indeed Carp.

What was a bit surprising was that the largest fish in our pond, which we refer to as “whitey” is actually a goldfish.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pond Life

This morning we took to the pond with purpose…to get a better look at the fry that we spotted last night.  After only a few minutes of looking we spotted it.

That is an air line in the background which for size reference is 1/4 inch in diameter, so the fry is very very small.  we also took some other pictures of the life we have in, above and around our pond this morning.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Fish

Earlier tonight Barbie and I were in the back yard with Madison enjoying some cool temperatures.  We were looking over the pond when we noticed that we had some new fry (aka baby fish).  We aren’t sure of the sex of any of our fish, so to find out that any of them had spawned was very unexpected…and exciting.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pond, Moon and Night-Time Pictures

Last week we decided to introduce some plants into our pond.  However, we immediately realized that this wasn’t going to be as easy at it initially sounded since our fish began eating the roots.   We could immediately see that eating the roots seemed beneficial to them as they looked healthier, but they were killing the plants that we were trying to grow.  So, we had to get creative with some back yard engineering.
We bought some used 5 gallon planter buckets from our local nursery for $.50 each and a foam pool noodle from the grocery store for $2.00.  I then cut the noodle into pieces that were just long enough to wrap around the top of the planter, but not so big so that the top ridge of the planted could slide through.  I wrapped the foam in black duct tape, drilled 120-150 holes in each planted and placed several water hyacinths in each one.
The result is that we have protected the plant roots from being eaten by the fish, but we also allow enough water to flow through the holes that they plants can clean the water and grow to a healthy length.

I also took advantage of the night lighting to take some pictures from our deck looking down at the pond and the lights we installed a few months ago.  Focusing in the dark was a bigger challenge that I expected, and focusing from 20+ feet away in poor lighting conditions was nearly impossible.  In any case below is the best image I was able to get.

Just before coming in for the night I decided to take some pictures of the sky, which were wonderful.  Below is one of more than 20 beautiful images I captured of the moon.  You can really tell how humid it was tonight by the glow around the lit surface.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stormy Skies…

We have been seeing a lot of storms on the horizon for the last few days, but we haven’t been getting any rain from them.  This afternoon Barbie was on the deck and saw some lightning in the distance.  When I joined her I took this video which incudes a couple lightning strikes as well as a few geese that are flying away from the storm.   Oh yeah, we didn’t get any rain from this one either.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Story of Bottled Water

As summer arrives in the national capital area, one of the most absurd cases of poor planning comes to light…again.  The intentional absence of public drinking fountains on and around the national mall.

I was reading an article on one of the local news blogs that described an initiative by several dozen DC businesses to organize a method to advertise to the public that tap water is available in their cafes/restaurants/stores.  Part of that article referenced the fact that most Americans don’t know that tap water is actually safe to drink, and that may be one of the biggest hurdles to clear when keeping visitors to the area well hydrated.

The video below explains how this most likely happened and what we can do about it.  It’s an interesting story & message that I felt I had to share.