Sunday, June 7, 2009
Pond, round two
I am trying again to have a cute pond. Not just a barrel of mud that the bees can drink from. I got really discouraged when it got hit repeatedly by the marauding raccoons last fall. The first time they came by they ripped off the tops of the plants. Then they came by another night and ripped them out further down. Another night they visited our barrel and pulled the plants out completely and shredded them, including the roots.
So, for quite awhile we have left it as a barrel with some azola floating on the surface. The honey bees can drink, so can the chickens, the neighbor's cat, little native bees, and other insects. But it didn't look as nice, and I didn't spend time hanging out next to it, or looking at how it was doing.
I decided to try again, but this time with a defense against raccoons.
I cut some hard ware cloth to fit in the barrel. It fits so that one side is open, and I can reach under the mesh to access the all of the barrel. Then I cut holes for where I wanted the plants to go. I hammered the cloth in place using U shaped nails. When I bought more water plants, I slid them under the hardware cloth, below the holes I had cut out for them. They started to grow up through the holes. As they grow, I'm raising the water level. The little lily pad looking one has finally gotten big enough that it is making leaves on top of the mesh in stead of under it. I want the water to cover the mesh enough that its not too visible, but it will still keep the raccoons from being able to destroy the plants below a certain depth. We will see how well my plan works. We haven't gotten raccoons in our yard that I have noticed recently.
Rather than calling the county of Alameda to put mosquito fish in our pond Jonathan has brought some from his work. He biked them home in a plastic bag in his backpack. Hopefully from the group he brought, there will be at least one male and one female and they can make as many mosquito fish as our barrel can support. They eat the mosquito larva, but unfortunately they also eat almost everything else living as well. Their appetites do keep us from creating a health hazard in our yard though.