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theresa
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PostSubject: Ponds And Wildlife   Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:36 pm

This story goes back to March 28 last year. I know the exact date because it happened the day after me birthday. After 15 years of having a pond wildlife got me. I am on pond forums and hear all the horror stories about Herons and Raccoons and other wild life that invade ponds. Now sometimes wild life is not bad as you see little Sparrows sitting on top of spitters taking a drink and green frogs come for a visit and sit on top of the lily pads.

But when animals disrupt your pond knocking things over and uprooting plants that is bad enough. But when they eat your fish that is downright devastating. Evil or Very Mad

Well this happened to me last year as I had over 40 common and comet gold fish of various sizes and ages with the oldest at 15. Well I went outside to check on my fish and to my horror I saw scales and fins all over my deck. The surviving fish which were about 15 were scared and on close examination most were injured. To make a long story short only 2 of my fish survived. Crying or Very sad

After some construction in the backyard which involved having to rebuild my pond, I buy some new fish and add them along with my 2 survivors. Some advice from a pond forum and milkcrates with holes cut in them for the fish to go into and a net was installed. No problems since then until Tuesday I went out back and what do I see a nasty Commarant sitting on the pond and the net pulled partially into the water. Now I run over and scare the bird away he flies over to the pilings and watches me as I check to make sure everyone is okay.

Now the pond is surround by decking on 3 sides, so I have to go up on the deck to fix my net. So I start yelling at the bird to go away, like he understands, not paying attention to what I am doing as I come off the deck, which is a 2 foot drop since I went over the side like always and not the steps, my leg slips forward on the wet ground and the other one gets caught underneath me and once again hurt my ankle and get pissed at myself as I lay on the wet ground. So now I am sure the bird is laughing at me, my fish are hiding from me and my cat is crying that he wants to go in, and I am soaked and in pain. As I think of it now the whole thing was funny, but only because I did not get seriously hurt.

Then to make matters worse the bird came back again yesterday to see if the net is still there. Evil or Very Mad This time I just opened the back door and he flew away, I was able to see the net was still in place so I did not have to hobble down to fix it.

The joys of ponding when wildlife comes for a visit. sunny

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theresa
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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:39 pm

My fish decided I was safe today and came up looking for food, sorry guys still not time for me to feed you yet. They are usually in hibernation mode at this time of the year but they have been active all winter.

Here is a picture of some.
You can see my 2 survivors (the big orange ones), cut the head of one out of the picture, my Yellow Koi who is only half his growing size, I had to let him out of the milkcrate a few weeks ago he went in and could not get out, and man is that water is cold. If you look at the rock on top of the milk crate you can see the tail of my black Butterfly Koi. Then you can see the Shubunkins (mulitcolered), the Comets (orange), and the Sarassa Comets(red and orange). I have my Oranda's in the basement in a kiddie pool they can not survive a cold winter.



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liana
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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:42 am

Im sorry, thats a bummer that the bird got your fish. Hope your ankle is feeling better. I always been intriqued by Koi's, they are so beautiful. I first saw them when I was in Japan.

We would both love to have different fish aqariums in our home, but my cat I know would knock the tanks over and eat them! I cannot have anything fragile in my home without him breaking it.

I know this is off topic, but I was going to ask you, what is the best way to keep your cat out of plants? My cat CeCe and I are starting to have issues with that.

I was thinking about putting lemon juice in a squirt gun with lil bit of water mixed, maybe the licking of sticky sour off his fur might fester him off? lol!
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theresa
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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:08 pm

I have always wanted Koi the colors are just beautiful, but my pond was not deep enough, so I made it bigger when I rebuilt it. I love when they come up looking for food, those whiskers make them look so cute, I love the Butterfly Koi's and those flowing fins.

Sorry you can not have fish, but contrary to movies and cartoons most cats do not like to go fishing. I have 2 problems over the years. I had Mischief who learn to open the top of my brothers aquarium and get the fish. And then I had Clyde who would sit on the edge of the pond, lean over and swat at them, that stopped the day he fell in. The rest could care less, Oreo likes to come out with me and watch them and drink from the waterfall but that is it. I have 5 fish in the basement with no protection and if they wanted to eat them they could.

As for the plants. This is a natural instinct for a cat. A main reason a cat eats grass is that they need to vomit to get rid of hairballs or undigestable food they eat. That is why right after they eat your plants they will vomit. Some think another reason is they need folic acid from the grass juice.

I have found the best thing is to give them what they want by giving them catgrass or catnip plants. I have a catnip plant growing for them to eat and they do leave the other plants alone. I know someone wo grows a chia pet for them to eat.

You can add chili powder or tabasco sauce to the leaves. Some people have a squirt gun and will shot the cat when they go near the plants.

Hope this helps lol!

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liana
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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:15 pm

I will have to check out catnip plants or a chia pet, thanks, never thought of that! I most certainly will be glad when he breaks the habit. I think it is more a game to him, since he will do it right in front of me.

My mother, when I was growing up, use to rub our cat Sasha's nose in tabasco sauce for getting on the counters. Im sure it burned, but it never stopped her. My mothers breaking point was when she caught the cat scarfing down her goulash that was on the stove cooking..then she gave up.
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theresa
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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:03 pm

The one thing I love about spring cleaning in my pond is it the time I get to see if any of the fish fry survived. The other fish usually eat most of the fry so even though I see hundreds of little fry swimming around in the spring I only end up with a few.

So today I saw 3 little baby fish swimming around. cheers

They stick together away from the other fish and spend most of their time hiding so when I moved the rocks they came out. At least I did not suck them up with the shop vac, while cleaning the pond floor.

The other great thing is to hear the sound of the water again. And I am sure that my neighbor does not mind that I started up the 35 gallon pond with the clacker also. I just love to hear the water going.

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PostSubject: Re: Ponds And Wildlife   Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:23 pm

So my friendly bird was back trying to get my fish and once again pulled the net into the water. I can not wait for the plants to grow to give them cover.
Once these creatures find a meal they just keep coming back.

No jumping off the deck this time though to fix it !!

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