Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Visitors to the pond

Not only does my pond give my family and me great joy, but a number of wildlife get nourishment from it, too. I've seen deer dart away as I approach and have observed birds bathing and drinking from the waterfall. I've  been lucky enough to have my camera handy now and then to capture these visitors. Some, I have seen many times, and others were just fleeting glimpses.

This leopard frog (Lithobates spp) or at least his relatives have been at my pond for years. On rainy summer nights we can hear them croaking to each other. I've seen them in the upper stream and the main pond. The smaller ones tend to stay above the waterfall. 

Dragonflies are another common sight at my pond. They are a welcome guest as they are ravenous predators of mosquitoes. Very rarely do I see them stop like this. They are usually zooming around and thus I don't often get a chance to ID them. This little beauty is a member of the Libellula genus. Species is really difficult to determine without a closer examination, but I wasn't about to disturb this little guy. 

The eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) was a pleasant surprise when I went out one morning to feed the koi. Unlike the frogs and dragonflies, this guy sat still for a while and even let me walk back in the house to grab my camera. Turtles are much less common at my pond, but I do see some from time to time. This was actually my second of the year. 

I also have juvenile salamanders that call my pond home. They live in the upper pools as any in the main pond would quickly get eaten. I have never seen the adults that obviously lay the eggs year after year (I have different sizes of juvenile), but come they must because I see the results. 

I'm happy that my pond also serves as a hub for local wildlife. It gives me a chance to observe them up close and it adds to the natural feel of the pond. I wanted the most natural-looking pond I could build, and I got just that. I couldn't be happier. 

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