I've had several blogs over the years in several blogging platforms. Having reached a point where there were just too many old, broken links to update, a few years ago I started over here at Twenty-Six Keys. This left me with a multitude of old blogs about my life in the woods in the files. Some of them are as relevant now as they were then. Today I want to share with you one of those old blogs. - RF
August 6, 2005
Every year brings something different to my little fishpond. One year it was a large garden spider, resplendent in her black and yellow garb and skilled in her spinning. One year it was a tiny garter snake that, thankfully, didn’t stay around long enough for me to be forced to remove him by any means at my disposal. Many years it has been frogs. This year it has been dragonflies, or maybe the damselfly. I'll call them dragonflies because I like that better.
I much prefer the dragonflies to everything else that has been attracted by the sound of trickling water. The spider was fascinating; seldom do you see such as her around here. But she was a spider, and we weren’t friendly. Same with the little snake. I was accepting only up to a point. I pay property tax and they don’t.
We installed the pond over a Memorial Day weekend. I got ten “feeder” goldfish to start the nitrogen cycle. The fellow at the pet store advised against the feeders, saying they would never live. Aye. Right. Like they would live long after he sold them to someone to feed their Caymans. At least in my pond they’d have a few good months before winter hit. Those ten “worthless” little goldfish are now eight years old, and even spawned their own addition to the ranks. They aren’t so little anymore, either.
The first spring, a frog came. I’ve long had toads and salamanders about the garden so what was another amphibian or two? Well, I quickly found out I like snakes better than frogs. Snakes are quiet. Snakes are clean. Frogs are not.
A happy frog with his own freshwater pond wants a girlfriend. How does he attract one? He sings. He sings loudly and all night long, night after night after night until he’s finally caught in a bucket and safely transported to the nearest creek.
Maybe the lack of frogs is why the dragonflies arrived in such numbers this year. The first one appeared in early June, hovering on shiny blue wings to check out the place. It wasn’t long before a second one appeared. Then more. They move too fast in their intricate flights to count. The number present doesn’t really matter but there are a lot of them. One was joyful and many are delightful.
Dragonflies are quiet - seen and not heard. They are clean except for the occasional shed wing floating on the surface of the pond. This surprised me at first but I quickly learned they shed old wings as they grow. The dragonflies entertain with their aerial acrobatics. We sit on the patio and watch them instead of doing our chores. Yes, they are a good addition to my backyard. I hope they return for many years to come.