Hello dear friends, it has been a while since I have posted about our farm activities. Today the temperatures are uncomfortably warm and the humidex is hovering around 42 degrees Celsius so I thought we could enjoy some photos of our ponds to keep us cool!
We have 3 ponds at our farm. The first pond we made is named Lake Ophelia after a yellow lab that we had several years ago. As you can guess her name was Ophelia and we named the pond after her because she liked to sneak away for a little swim every now and again. It was far too hot today to make the walk to Lake Ophelia for new photos so here is one I took in May. When we originally had this pond dug it was done in two stages...the original pond and then after some reflection we thought it was too small so had it doubled in size. Over the years however the sides of the pond have become overgrown and it is a very big project on our list of things to do. I have been having fantasies about having a tiny little "boat house" that we could use to launch our canoe and perhaps even use for summertime dinners with friends.
Two years ago we started construction on a koi pond which is at the rear of our farmhouse. The pond is large enough to overwinter a collection of koi but still needs to have some cosmetic finishing done. Willow and Abby are demonstrating conclusively that fish water is The Best Water Ever. All three dogs frequently quench their thirst at the pond which I, as a human, do not understand when bowls of cold tap water are readily available. It must be a dog thing.
Some of our fish were gifted to us by a friend of my husband's and some we purchased. The koi pond is deep enough to allow the fish to overwinter. In the past we used to purchase goldfish for the our waterfall garden and in the fall we would catch them and release them in Lake Ophelia. As Lake Ophelia is a completely self contained pond we have not been concerned about the fish escaping into the wild. We can often see schools of goldfish in Lake Ophelia with some of them having grown to about 4 inches long. We have a resident heron that helps to keep the population under control.
Our largest and most attractive fish are in our koi pond. They are a little difficult to photograph!
In addition to the fish we have an assortment of frogs in all of our ponds. In the spring the sounds of the "peepers" in Lake Ophelia can be heard in the house. After the peepers we enjoy hearing the chorus of the bullfrogs. There are also frogs in our ponds near the house. I am not a frog expert but think that this could be a Leopard Frog.
And a Green Frog.
Ponds are not maintenance free. Each year we use a combination of annual and perennial pond plants to try to keep the ecosystem balanced. This pink lily is a transplant from Lake Ophelia which in turn was a transplant from a neighbouring farm. Pond plants help to provide shade and cool the water. The plants also help to absorb the excess nutrients from the water and the roots in turn help to provide some food for the fish. The plants also provide cover and protection for newly hatched fish.
This garden heron was a leftover from a previous water feature many years ago and recently "resurfaced". 😉 (that is code for we had it but forgot we had it!)
This little duck had a work related injury (code for he was dropped!) and we disguised his damage with some artificial ferns.
The waterfall enjoys frequent revisions. The water circulates through the pond with the help of a pump and then cascades back over a collection of rocks and flagstones. My husband often tinkers with the arrangements of stones to change the sound and effect of falling water. The falling water from the waterfall and the water features helps to circulate the water and add oxygen for the fish.
Some plants are contained in wooden planter such as this yellow iris. The irises, lilies and ornamental grasses (not pictured here) are perennial plants but the water hyacinths and water lettuces are annuals. All of the plants together help to keep the ponds' ecosystems balanced.
Well friends is currently 730 pm and we still have a temperature reading of 30 degrees with a humidex reading of 38 degrees. I hope you enjoyed this little tour of two of our ponds-I noticed that I didnt have any post worthy photos of the waterfall garden!- and hope you will visit our farm blog again soon.