So, it's only 9:25 and I've been in the pond already planting bog lilies, water canna and water pickerel. We had purchased the canna and pickerel on our last visit to Hornbaker Gardens and just set their pots in the pond. The only plants in our pond that are planted in dirt are the water lilies and lotus. The builders created pockets, added dirt, lilies, sand, and river rock. All the rest of the plants have had their roots cleaned of dirt and just planted in the river rock. When I lifted the pickerel out to hose off the roots, I touched a gelatinous mess which turned out to be eggs. Not toad eggs, we are familiar with those, these were little tiny white eggs which I tried to wash off of the pot back into the pond. Not sure how successful I was. The water forget-me-nots are blooming and the underwater plants are very close to the surface now.
Blooming in the garden: wiegela, tulips, wild phlox, creeping phlox, meadow sage, iris, and columbine.
Fish: there are now 6 comets, 3 fantail, 3 shibunkin, (all about 2.5") and 3 large comets about 4". We have a resident leopard frog, two toads, and a variety of tree frogs hidden in the pond rocks. The toad eggs have hatched and we are blessed with a gazillion toad tadpoles.
We saw our first dragonfly two days ago and we're hoping that we'll have dragonfly larvae soon. There is nothing quite so spectacular as watching a nymph climb from the pond to turn into a dragonfly, dry his wings and fly away. We also get damsel flies on occasion but I haven't seen one yet.
Birds: nesting in the spruce trees: cardinal, dove, robin, chipping sparrow and grackle. In the houses: 3 wrens (one box has four eggs), bluebirds (no eggs yet) and chickadees in a box I cannot get into. Their eggs have hatched because there is plenty of coming and going from that box. It's unusual to have more than one wren in our yard but love to hear the songs. Last night I saw the first bird use the bathing area that was created in the stream. A robin came down to bathe and brought two chipping sparrows with him, all were splashing and having a great time. This morning two warblers came to drink but were scared off by the chipmunk before getting into the water. A robin perched on one of the garden statues with two huge green caterpillars in his mouth, so his babies have hatched in the spruce tree. It's easy to tell a male from a female robin during nesting time, the male is the one with the clean breast. The female gets hers dirty building the nest, she sits in it and turns in a circle, pressing the sides with her breast which gets all muddy.
The water lilies both have leaves on the surface, but the lotus has not made an appearance. The lotus is planted in a huge tub filled with dirt, covered with sand and gravel. It's on the second shelf down in the pond, propped up by rocks. Lotus like to be near the surface and it has been fertilized, the root looked really healthy so I'm hopeful it will send up leaves soon.
I told my husband that this is just the best place on earth to be right now. There is always something to see. it's quiet so I can hear the birds sing and the water splash, and the weather has been perfect even if it has been hot. We have a large ceiling fan in the gazebo which does a great job of creating a breeze when there isn't one outside. Life is good.