The Pond Today

The Pond Today – the water is so clear.  Seen parts of the bottom this spring, I’ve never seen before.  No plants yet, cept for some phrag shoots and one plant with lots of minute leaves, along western shore.  And as noted in last post, couple days ago, I planted 12 water lily bulbs.  But what’s bothering me, is that in all that clear pond water, nothing’s moving.  No tadpoles.  No fish.  Not in the open parts I can see, anyway.  Some bugs.  That’s about it.  But I did see a frog, a few days ago.  It’s always interesting.

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Almost Water Lilies

Can’t catch muskrats without bait …

Almost water lilies

Planted 3 each of these today – almost water lilies

And something a bit less, whatever …

One cat, two geese and a duck

Big Shot

Big Shot

Geese and a duck

Geese and a duck

Pond view today

Pond view today

Two geese came to visit today.  Along with the frog eating duck I saw the other day.  And while capturing this action down at the pond, from up on the deck, one of our feral cats came to check me out – and I caught him on camera – one of the shots … Big Shot?

Also, I found the critter that took off with one of my traps last fall – and the trap too – in a foot or so of water, near where I’d originally set it on the hole in the bank last fall.  Seems it was a muskrat, and not a mink.  So, that’s 4 muskrats total, and 2 mink, I trapped last fall.  Haven’t seen any muskrat tells so far this spring.

A Green Heron, a turtle, some dragon flies and a few tadpoles

Today was something.  Sighted a turtle sunning itself on the reeds, near the back of the pond …

Turtle catching some sun on a reed raft

Turtle catching some sun on a reed raft

Two quite large, flying, copulating dragon flies – of such beautiful iridescent colors, locked in tandem head to tail, flashing color all about over the top of the pond, on such an early dull brown spring day.

And Tadpoles – but only in the sections providing cover.

And … a (The?) Green Heron showed up a couple days ago.  Then again yesterday. Today too?  We’ll see.  Lurks about at the back of the pond – sometimes up in a willow branch.  I got a pic – cropped the bit with the heron in it too.  But took the shot from top of the hill with 10x mag … heron was tucked in the back among the reeds.  Two pics:

View of the Heron in the reeds

View of the Heron in the reeds

The Green Heron

The Green Heron

And phragmite shoots.  On land, and in the water.  Seems the muskrats didn’t eat all of the phrags.  Maybe some cats and water lilies survived too?

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Ahhh … Muskrats

Kept seeing light tan earth in SW corner of pond bottom, sprayed out in a widening arc from one point near the pond edge.  Telltale sign of muskrats.  But, look hard as I might, I couldn’t spot the muskrat’s underwater access hole.

And therein lies the heart of this tale … the hole was just above water level.  With light brown soil leading from it, for 2-3 inches to the water’s edge – where the underwater plum begins.  This access hole leading to the cause of this light brown underwater plum on the pond bottom.

Either muskrat or mink.

So, I set a trap.  A well rusted #110, that had been setting out there all winter, just in case.  That trap made me cringe as I set it.  And … I also crumbled part of their den wall in, with a big black rubber boot … while finding footing along bank in which to set said rusty old finger snapping trap.  So, I’m hoping they don’t use the now crumbled wall as a new access hole, thus bypassing the trap I just set on their current hole.

We’ll see.