The Pond Diary 2004
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18 June - To say I have been neglecting the pond would be at the very least an understatement! Since the Great Tits captured all my attention last month, I did only a little bit of plant thinning before we went to Cornwall.
During our absence a timer was used to do the double task of watering some bamboo plants and topping up the big pond every few days. Very warm, sunny weather ensured perfect growing conditions and by the time we returned it was very difficult to see the water.
Since our return I haven't touched it, and the picture shows it yesterday. In the foreground is one of two Reedmace plants that have appeared this month.
One has still to reveal its flower, but yesterday the other was shedding pollen. By this evening that pollen had all gone, although the other plant is still to produce.
We had a great display of Flag Iris flowers in the big pond during the last month, although they have all gone to seed now. On several of their leaves are numerous larvae like this one (which is about 21mm long).
I last saw these in 2002, when they were identified for me as the larvae of a sawfly (Hymenoptera) called Rhadinocerea micans, and which feeds only on the Flag Iris.
This week we have seen numerous Damselflies this week, often basking in the sunshine on the path, on plants around the pond, or the bamboo plants.
This is a male Common Blue Damselfly. I have seen just one pair flying around in tandem so far.
I must get on with thinning out some of the vegetation in the big pond in the next week so that I can see the frogs that I can hear moving about every time I go near it.
28 June - I actually got around to doing some clearing at the side of the big pond. It's a slow process as I check everything that I take out so that I do not accidentally remove small animals. There were lots of Lake Limpets and I was surprised at the number of large (>10mm) orb-shell cockles that I found amongst the roots of the mint plants that I pulled out. I did not come across any young newts in the bit of pond that I was working on, but there were well developed frog tadpoles (still legless).
Before I started the clearing I did take these photographs of another damselfly that was resting at the side of the pond.
Despite its straw colouring it is a female Common Blue Damselfly. Females can also be blue in colour.
The reedmace I photographed for my last entry is now turning brown. The second plant has also pollinated now.
Similar on colouring to yesterday's individual, the markings on this individual are those of the male Common Blue Damselfly, although it doesn't have the blue colour of the one photographed on the 18th.