Wet Pets and Other Animals

Pond

Let's talk about our finny friends! When we first debuted this pond, we only had three fish - two koi and one goldfish. We bought another goldfish so they could keep each other company and got several more koi. Time goes on and unfortunately, not everyone makes it. Our pond is now all koi, since both of our goldfish passed away. We've decided that it just makes more sense to keep it that way. They can live together, but the goldfish are so much smaller and slower, they belong with their own kind.

In the meantime, our koi have gotten huge! You really have to see it for yourself. Our largest is probably about two and a half feet long! The others are not far behind. It's crazy to see how tiny some of them were in our first pond compared to the monsters we have now! We've had some success teaching them to trust us and eat out of our hands, but we've not been very consistent with it, so neither have they.

Having a body of water around creates quite a draw for other animals. We have a fence around our yard, so I'm sure that keeps some animals out, but we still get lots of blue-tailed skinks, little green lizards, dragonflies, butterflies, and birds. It's so cute to watch the birds play in the waterfall! We have two hummingbird feeders, so we see lots of them as well. We also attract lots of frogs and we've had a turtle visit too. We've also found a couple of snakes, which are not the most pleasant surprises, but we've learned to deal with them. We catch them and toss them back into the woods.


June 28, 2005: The wet pets took their first swim in their new pond. The original crew of three included Calfin, Spook, and Frank.

The pond almost immediately starting getting froggy visitors.

July 10, 2005: We purchased a few more fish. Scarlet, Zorro, Spot, and Yorick.

Yorick, Frank, Zorro, Spook, Scarlet, Spot, and Calfin.

Unfortunately, this little fella didn't make it. We found him like this in the driveway. Still pretty, though.
 

May 1, 2006: We picked up a few more fish. One of which was CJ, on the right.

In the middle of this picture is a small black fish we named Roscoe.

CJ is short for Calfin Junior because they looked so similar. Here they are together, next to Spot.

Also new to the mix was Butters, Rosey, and Jack.

12 fish now: Yorick, Jack, Spook, Zorro, Roscoe, Frank, CJ, Calfin, Butters, Rosey, Scarlet, and Spot.
 

Another view of the gang.

Rosey and Zorro swim by as Roscoe kisses Yorick. Oddly enough, Roscoe was totally black when we got him. Now he's gray.

Mostly left to right: Zorro, Yorick, Calfin, CJ, Roscoe, Jack, Rosey, Spot, Frank, Scarlet, and Butters.

This little lizard came to visit our hibiscus.

They're getting a little bigger!
 

There is a little fish near the rocks toward the center of this picture. He was born in our pond!

He was barely bigger than the fish food when we found him! We had to feed him flakes until he got big enough to eat with the big boys (and girls, obviously).

We named him Bruce, after the shark in Finding Nemo, cause he kinda looks like a tiger shark.

Dinner time!

More fish action. These little bits of foam are gone now that the pond has reached its biological balance.
 

Can you find Bruce?

April 18, 2007: New fish! Motley and Shadow.

May 5, 2007: We turned off the waterfall so we could work on it, so the water was very calm.

Singe spots something moving below the water. Believe it or not, the cats are afraid of the fish!

Another shot without the waterfall turned on.
 

All he needs now is a margarita.

Aww!!

One of my favorite pictures ever!

I couldn't have posed this better myself! Thanks goes to Singe for his help on this one.

He leans in for a closer look.
 

He really is a man of constant leisure.

"Here fishy, fishy."

A contractor in a past life (we're convinced), Singe inspects our work on the waterfall.

A very close inspection.

Ling, not to be outdone on cuteness, plops down in the gutter tray.
 

So cute!

Hummingbird feeder. Not a hummingbird.

This little fledgling stopped by for a rest then rejoined his mom later.

A frog! Actually, we get lots of frogs during the summer, especially on humid evenings. They're tiny, but they make quite a noise!

"Is it safe yet?"
 

The guard frog.

June 4, 2007: It was time to clean the pond, so we let the fishies play in the pool for a while.

This pool is about three feet across, for a size reference.

Having fun in the pool.

Ah! Home sweet home.
 

We got a new fish on our one year anniversary and named him Ichi, Japanese for "one." He's a Platinum Ogon, or pure sparkly white.

It's hummingbird season!

This little girl would perch on the flower stalks and wait for would-be intruders.

A second hummingbird comes in for a drink.

Fiercely territorial, this is a rare sight.
 

January 19, 2008: Kitty prints in the snow.

June 15, 2008: Some enterprising frogs laid eggs in a bucket we accidentally left out.

And so begins "The Tadpole Experiment."

June 16, 2008: The eggs hatched already! We transferred the tadpoles to an aquarium.

We had lots of tadpoles!
 

A close-up of the freshly hatched tadpoles.

A very nicely done spider web.

June 19, 2008: We did some research on rearing tadpoles and learned to give them some air and some plants to munch on.

I may have gotten a bit ahead of things by also putting in some rocks so they could hop out when it was time to leave.

June 30, 2008: Hmm. This is taking longer than we thought.
 

There's always hummingbirds to distract from the frog drama.

July 10, 2008: Still making frogs.

As you can see, we've had a fair amount of casualties. But no bodies were found. I guess they're cannibals?

Hummer action.

The view of the hummingbirds from the inside. This one's bright red throat says he's a male.
 

This one is a girl.

A blue-tailed skink came to visit. Actually, we have tons of them - they just stay hidden most of the time.

We now have 15 wet pets!

Another shot of the fishes.

July 21, 2008: They're getting bigger, but... shouldn't they have legs by now or something? Our tadpoles are retarded.
 

The remaining population.

Late July. This time of the season, the hummingbirds seem to just come out of the woodwork.

This one is saying, "Back off! I was here first!"

This cute little green lizard eyes Travis as he takes a picture.

Travis loves when we find a praying mantis.
 

Much less one this big!

Travis moved him away from the waterfall. This daring dragonfly tempted fate.

This little guy is, unfortunately, not from our batch of retarded tadpoles.

But he was cute and tiny.

Another weird bug.
 

October 25, 2008: Seriously.

We gave up on the tadpoles. There were about 10 left and they wouldn't turn into frogs! We finally put them in the pond. We don't know their fate. They may be frogs by now. They're likely fish poop.

But hey, I got a new camera. Nice, huh?

Zorro and Butters are our big girls. Just below them is Bruce, our pond baby, then Ichi, Roscoe, and Rosey at the bottom.

November 8, 2008: Butters, Zorro, Ichi, Jack, Rosey, and Spot.
 

I can't believe that big one in the center is our baby Bruce!

The night time's the right time.

Cute little froggies!

This is a different one on a different night.

This one was tucked into our fence during the day.
 

Same day, different frog.

Travis was out mowing the grass and came across this little guy. He brought him in the house to keep him safe while he finished mowing.

Sealed up tight.

*creeeaaakk*
"Is it safe yet?"

He finally came out and started walking around. We put him back outside and he dug himself into our mulch for the night. He got up early the next morning and took off.
 

New camera = better hummingbird pictures.

I often say that they look like they're wearing little green tuxedos with tails.

Jack pops out of the water, pecking at some food.

A little male.

We get many colors of dragonflies.
 

Zorro is also on the hunt for slightly out of reach food.

"I see what you did there."

August 22, 2009: The pond, as seen from our bedroom window.

*nom nom nom*

"Mmm. Tasty!"
 

These little guys are constantly attacking each other. They flare out their tail feathers and show these little white tips in a way to "bow up" on each other. They also shout, "Peep peep peep!"

Battling hummers.

I need to get video of them. It's brutal and hilarious at the same time.

Coming in for a landing.

This green lizard lived on our patio chairs for a while. I guess the eatin' was good.
 

Videos

mov04060.mpg: The fish at feeding time. You can hear Frank's deformed mouth "kissing" the water. In addition to his charming "kissing" noise, Frank was the first to eat out of our hands. Unfortunately, Frank passed away in late 2008. He will be missed.
mov04247.mpg: Just some footage of the fish swimming about.
mov04575.mpg: June 19, 2008: The freshly hatched tadpoles.