Friday, July 18, 2014

Buck UP!

Last year's spotted fawn became this year's spike buck, and now, as summer slides along ...

... he's forking off in my garden.

Not shown in this picture, a doe and a new spotted fawn that was playing like a frisky lab puppy while the adults browsed.
(I took these photos without leaving the back porch.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Year Pond Check Up ... Frogdiggity!

If you go way back to 2009, you can see how this tiny pond in my oak-palm hammock came to be.
(Dear North of the St. Mary's River friends, in Florida, a "hammock" is a shady forest habitat of mostly hardwoods)
Two days ago, Bear, Coquina, and I were taking a walk through the hammock, enjoying its shade and fresh deer smells. As we approached the little pond, I could see 7 leopard frogs sitting on the rim.
The pups spooked them of course, but I came back alone a little while later and some of them were still hanging out.

I always place a stick of some kind in water holes like this, so the skinks, anoles, and other crawlies have a way of exiting when they fall in.
Bums me out to find a drowned lizard in something I created.

This was the lone swimmer.
Lone frog swimmer that is ... A small school of Gambusia minnows patrol the depths gobbling up mosquito eggs and larvae as soon as the mosquitoes deposit them.
I have no mosquitoes at my place and I'm beyond poison spewing mosquito control routes (Thankfully!) ...
I give credit for the lack of mosquitoes in this very wet 2014 summer to the many Gambusia inhabited water features on my 10 acres.
They are ravenous skeeter beaters ... with no harmful side effects.

This frog was "one with the log" and never moved as I moved around to get pics.

I was surprised, but happy to see so many frogs using the tiny hammock watering hole. Surprised, because 40 feet away was the big "real" pond, and happy because, I don't usually catch anybody in the act of using it, although I'm sure it acts as a water source for the deer and other critters that live or cross through PFHQ.

After air, there's really nothing more important than water, and its such a simple thing to add to any landscape. This little pond shell was about 10 bucks in 2009 and needs no pump to do it's job.

(The Gambusia are tough as nails and can survive low oxygen, plus there are just a few in there)... of course, now that I think about it, I have tons of Anacharis in another water feature that I could add to this little pond.
A little shady, but they are great little oxygen producers so it's worth adding a few sprigs.

No telling who might show up if you diversify your place by adding any of the 3 biggies:
1. Food
   2. Shelter
  3. Water

Which reminds me, the brush piles have all rotted away so I need to work on number 2.