Jon Cranfield

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

the pond has its first snow covering!

In Garden pond, Observations, Wildlife on November 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

The pond has had ice over it for a number of days now. Today it has a dusting of snow. When I brushed some of the snow away the ice underneath seemed to be thicker again.

I am going to leave the snow on the pond when it arrives. I may mark out the pond so that little people don’t fall into it when playing in the snow.

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The mayflys have disappeared…

In Observations on November 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Mayfly larvae under the ice

image of a mayfly larvae under ice

Well the previous post showed plenty of ‘white’ mayfly larvae.

I thought the larvae  were trapped in the ice over the pond.

I managed to get some close up shots of a single larvae – where did the other’s go – it seems that the animals in the pond are surviving the cold and the ice


frozen in time mayfly larvae or are they?

In Garden pond, Observations on November 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I had a quick look at the ice covering my garden pond this morning. I noticed white ghosts well they looked like grains of rice under the surface. While a few mayfly larvae were still moving in the unfrozen water the white ghosts were set in a layer of ice approx 1cm thick.

According to the car thermometer the air temp is -3C. This was at 09.37am.

There is no snow on the ground here in Alresford as yet. I am keeping updates on twitter on the #uksnow tag.

I will also be keeping an eye on the pond with the ice forming each night it is getting thicker and thicker. Will it freeze solid?

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A new camera!

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I have purchased a new camera – a digital SLR which I have been promising myself for a long while. My old lenses and flash gun work on it as well so I am all tooled up to get some great shots in future of the pond as it progresses through the seasons. Talking of seasons it has become very much winter – with temps below -4C

No snow as yet but there is some advice from the garden pond blog about what to do with snow and to not bother with melting a hole in the ice in certain circumstances.

My pond is very shallow at around 20cm at its deepest. I also know I do not have any frogs in the pond – what I do have are midge larvae, water beetles and their larvae and mayfly larvae. Gently tapping the ice you can see the different animals under the ice swimming around.

I have a few plants in the pond such as mosses which may provide much needed oxygen if I keep the ice clear. I may have to mark off the pond with some rope and stakes as it is a place where my boys will no doubt like to play in when the snow comes………

grass frozen in ice on the pond

In Observations on November 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

The ice on the pond today. There is vegetation growing! Some grass. Note the leaves which I have left. Also I am not going to take the usual advice to melt a hole in the ice. According to pond conservation my pond is shallow enough to have plenty of oxygen and will not benefit from having the ice melted.

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the pond frozen this morning

In Observations on November 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

The pond has had its first freeze this morning. The usual advice is to make a hole in the ice. The idea around this advice is to try and get toxic gases out and oxygen into the water to prevent fish & amphibian deaths.

Pond conservation ran a survey this year which looked at the effectiveness of making a hole in the ice. There was no difference in amphibian or fish deaths between garden ponds which were left iced and ones which had holes placed into the iced pond. In fact ponds which were deep tended to be more dangerous to wildlife during freezing episiodes due to the build up of rotting sediment.

More to follow

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  • pond photo 18th Nov 2010

    In Garden pond on November 19, 2010 at 11:29 am

    This is the pond as of yesterday. The leaves are possibly turning the water darker? I will sample the water to see

    I may have my first pond dip today to see what is in the pond. Report back soon

    The pond as of 18th Nov 2010




















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    Now I am doing it – looking for myths in pond advice

    In Garden pond, Wildlife on November 19, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Well with the help of Pond Conservation and the Garden Pond Blog – I have been looking at advice from other organisations – I could not help noticing that they are giving good advice along with advice which may be harmful –

    Advice – About leaves

    ‘Don’t site your pond close to trees that will drop their leaves in the pond – these are a source of additional nutrients that you could do without. Trees can also shade ponds to the extent that oxygenating plants struggle to survive.’

    Whoops I have sited my pond right next to a few bushes and small trees – these provide dabbled shade and there is currently plenty of leaves in my pond. I also have plants growing in my pond quite nicely. Here is a post on the garden pond blog about leaving leaves

    Advice -about blanket weed

    ‘Remove existing blanket weed and duckweed from the surface of the pond. This takes nutrients out of the system.’

    I do no thave any algae growing in my little garden pond – here is the stuff about blanket weed from the Garden pond Blog

    It is very interesting to see whether my pond is going to develop naturally as I hope and I will try my best to monitor and arrival of natural plants.

    More random misinformation highlighted by the garden pond blog

    A predated newt

    In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm
    A female newt with its insides cleared out

    A predator has learned that the newts belly is not poisonous

    The likely culprit can be found here

    Killer kingfishers

    In Wildlife on November 18, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Posted a few comments on the Killer Kingfishers article on the thegardenpondblog