Thursday, April 29, 2010

urban wildlife

This beautiful barred owl was hanging out in a tree in our front yard last Sunday afternoon - in broad daylight! It was really stressing out a mockingbird that apparently has a nest in that tree. It was there for hours, and Scott eventually got the great idea to get on the roof of the house to get a better picture.


This huge frog has taken up residence in our pond. It sleeps/hangs out in the biggest potted plant in the pond. Seems to freak out the fish a bit - hopefully they'll get used to it (because it doesn't appear to be going anywhere).


We had our first pond emergency (since installing the pond last summer/fall) last weekend. The fish started gasping at the surface. My research indicated that this was likely either the result of ammonia build-up or a pH problem. I didn't think it was ammonia since our pond is definitely not overstocked, and an ammonia test proved me right. It turns out that it was a pH problem, thanks to a heavy rain the day before. Rain here, for whatever reason, is very acidic. Thankfully we were able to solve this problem by adding baking soda to the pond in small doses over the course of a few days. Crisis averted!

14 comments:

Susie said...

I'm glad your fish survived. Poor babies. I didn't know our rain is acidic.

I can't believe the owl. Wow! I would love to see one in our trees.

Janet said...

Wow, cool picture of the owl. Glad you were able to solve the crisis with the pond.

Darla said...

That Owl is beautiful! Frogs are so funny to me. Glad you saved your fish...

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How neat to have an Owl in your yard. I hope one day I can see one in person, other than one in captivity.
I'm jealous you already have a frog! I'm still waiting for one to show up. Glad you were able to solve your pond water problem. It's funny how we get attached to those little fish and want to keep them safe and healthy.

Lisa Blair said...

Wow - that owl is super cool! He's gorgeous!

Randy Emmitt said...

Ginger,

I too saw a barred owl a few days ago from a customers yard. Too high up for a decent photo. That was quick thinking on the pond way to go!

Tara and Matthew said...

My husband and I have been thinking about putting a pond in our garden but are nervous about the upkeep factor!

Rosey said...

Your story of the pond luckily had a happy ending.

The owl photo is very spectacular! I happen to include owls in the my favorite birds category. Mostly because they eat mice, which I have a strong dislike for.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Prairie Chicken... said...

that's a pretty intense owl picture :)

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Wow, how cool that was to have that beautiful owl hanging out for you to get such a good look. Your hubby took a fantastic photo! I'm glad you figured out the pond problem so the fish were ok. Acid rain...not a good thought;-( Harmful to fish---probably mankind as well! Take care;-)

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

oh, I forgot to mention, I have not sent the gloves yet. I have been preoccupied and promise to get them out tomorrow. Lots of silly interruptions keeping me from getting to the post office...sorry:-)

Jean said...

How did you find out that your rain is acidic there? I would love to know about mine too.

Back in Austin we had a pond and in the summer the fish would start gasping for oxygen. So I would set up our solar water fountain and that would take care of it. It provided enough aeration for the fish's oxygen needs. Keeping it topped up w/water also helped.

Jean said...

Oh, I forgot to say how lucky you were to see that owl!

KMG said...

Love the owl photo. by the way, if your frog is a bullfrog he(or probably she) might attack your fish. I had to declare war on them in the big pond I used to have. Darn things would jump and try to eat my koi but of course, the fish were too big and the bite injury killed two or three of my fishes. That may be why your fish are skiddish.