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You did an amazing job with the design because it definitely looks natural. Your koi really are beautiful, Izzy. So colorful.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Visitors to the Pond

It's been really cloudy and rather cool lately, so I haven't been feeding the koi as much and the light isn't good for photos. I promise I'm working on introducing my individual koi to you guys. For now, I'll show you some of the visitors that have popped in and out (literally in some cases) during years passed.





This is a little pickerel frog that I managed to catch on film one day back in 2008. I've seen (and heard) frogs at my pond every year, but this is the only one I've gotten a picture of. I hear them jump when I startle them, so I can only guess they are the same species as this little guy.





Another common visitor to my pond are the dragonflies. They are just too crazy fast to get them in flight, but this one decided to stop and rest for a while one day while I was out there with my camera. That second picture isn't him trying to dance; he is trying to reduce the amount of surface area that the sun light directly hits. It's a cooling technique.



I found this little box turtle one day when I went out to feed the koi. He didn't move much so I had a chance to feed the koi, run back to the house, grab my camera, get back outside, and take a picture of him. I've seen a lot of box turtles in my backyard through the years.





No clue what kind of caterpillar this little guy is, but he sat with me when I fed the koi one day last summer. I had to use the flash because the light was just too dim. That's my knee in the second picture; he was a pretty big little guy.





I have seen larval salamanders in my pond for years, but never the adults until last fall. I was cleaning out the pond and getting ready to put up the net when this little guy popped out from under a rock. He's a southern two-lined salamander.

I also see deer, cats, squirrels, and all kinds of birds out there. This year I've spotted a woodpecker on the trees around the pond. Of course the only times I've seen him are when I don't have my camera, but I will get a shot of him by the end of the summer!
 

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Great photos. Thanks for sharing. I've seen the occasional very small snake in my pond from time to time. A couple of leopard frogs have visited over the years. A neighbor brought over a very big bullfrog that he found in his yard and he stayed around for the season but haven't seen him again.
 

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Larval salamanders. :shock: Wow, that would be interesting to stumble on to one morning.

No visitors at my pond, probably because it is raised up. No visitors, just lots of fallen leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Snakes are one thing I've never seen around my pond. I'd love to see some, tho. I love snakes! I did find a worm snake when digging the pond. I accidentally hit him with the shovel :( He was soo cute for the few days I had him! I'd love another one.

Oh man, I was so stoked when I found the larval salamanders. I was cleaning out algae and was like, what's that wriggly thing? It was so hard to contain my excitement and catch one to confirm what I thought. (If you can't tell I like scaly, slimy things.)

I'm surprised you don't get the occasional frog, Meg. A lot of people who have above-ground ponds report them from time to time.
 

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It's weird. My next door neighbors have what used to be a very small pond in their backyard from the previous owners. It's pretty much all rocks now but for some reason, any time there is a hint of water in that pond, the frogs congregate there and croak ALL FREAKIN' NIGHT. It's like they are worshipping some frog god. :shock: It's right under my neighbor's bedroom window so how they sleep is beyond me. We can hear it in our house loud and clear.

Worm snake. It looks like a worm. That is a snake. :shock:
 

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My grandparents had a big watering trough that used to come alive with tadpoles every spring. I remember the area around it crawling with tiny toads the size of your baby fingernail.
 

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Don't know what kind of snake it is. Need to get a better look next time and research. It goes into the water but stays very close to the edge.

The entire family loves our little pond. My wife and son really have an eye for what's going on in there...better than me.
 

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Fantastic pictures! I hope you do manage to get a shot of your little woodpecker friend. One of the coolest parts of having a pond must be all the life that comes with it. One day. . . I'll find out for myself! The salamander is AWESOME! I tend to like slimy, scaly things, too. . .lol!
 

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we call them newts over here,and i have one in my pond,along
with a couple of frogs,and a little frog spawn,which hasn't done too great
this year,many of the eggs went mouldy for some reason,perhaps
the sharp drop in temp that we had.
i very much look forward to more pictures of yours :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #31
So no new pictures of the koi. The canopy has really filled in and the lack of direct sunlight makes it very difficult to get good up close shots of them. And no full pond shots because it's pretty clogged with algae and the water hasn't been warm enough for me to go yank it all out.

But I can offer you flowers!! We have a few that I expect year after year around the pond.





The iris around the pond are in bloom. We only have yellow ones, and I kinda wish we had more colors.



This is one of the wildflowers that just kinda appeared. I have no clue what they are, but I do have a VA wildflower ID book. I should look them up. I love how they grow on the rocks in the moss.





This little beauty is called Blue-eyed grass. When I was doing a wildflower project for my high school bio teacher, we found this grass growing in a field and transplanted it to the pond. It's been slowly taking over which we love.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
So I know I've been saying I'll do this for a while. I finally got good pictures of all of my koi (mostly) alone. Without further ado, I give you the koi school!

Umi



I believe she is the oldest koi in the pond. I bought her in winter 2006 at my Walmart and kept her in my 55 gal over the winter. She was the smallest of the original four but also the only one still alive. I lost the first two when I put them in the pond. I never saw them again. I lost the third during the first winter. Umi is a showa which is a breed of koi which is a koi with red and white markings on a black background.

Halloween



These next three koi were added at the same time in summer 2007. I bought them all from a pretty nice LPS about 45 minutes south of me. These guys were released directly into the pond the first summer it was in operation. Halloween is an aka bekko which is a orange or red koi with black markings. She's also a chagoi which means really fat and friendly koi hehe. She's probably the largest by weight in the pond which is understandable with the way she eats...

Byakko



This picture should look familiar to everyone lol! This is my special child. I put her directly into the pond, and after a couple of weeks discovered she has a mouth deformity. I don't know exactly what is wrong, but one side of her mouth doesn't open as it should. Despite this problem, she doesn't seem to have issues feeding. I was worried sick about her that first winter, but she came through swimmingly! Byakko is a shiro utsuri. This breed of koi is bi-color with white on black markings. In case you haven't noticed, the first word describes the color and the second word describes the pattern.

Kurama



With a photobomb from Genbu. Kurama is my tancho sanke. Tancho is the name given to koi with that red spot on their heads. The rounder the better. His was rounder when he was younger, but now it's loop-sided and gives him character. The black on his back makes him a sanke which is a white koi with red and black markings. He came in with Byakko and Halloween from that same pet store.

Genbu



This is where my memory gets a bit fuzzy. There are no pictures of the fish in the pond from 2008 (this was the summer that Erik and I began dating to give you an idea of why). The first time I saw Genbu in pictures was 2009. I'm going to hazard a guess and say I got Genbu in 2008 but never took any pictures of him. He is younger than most of the other fish and therefore smaller, but he's grown pretty steadily since I got him. His markings make him a gin matsuba. This is a silver koi with black spots in the middle of his scales giving a pinecone effect.

Suzaku



Again my memory isn't up to par. The first time he shows up in pictures is from after my graduation, but I KNOW I didn't add him the summer before that because I was working in Arkansas that summer. I'm going to guess that I got Suzaku in 2010. I know that he is the youngest koi in the pond, but I don't know just how young lol. He is a kohaku koi. His white and red markings are highly coveted. When kohaku only have a red circle on their head they are called tancho. A large female pure white tancho kohaku will sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

So thus ends my tour of the koi. Not all of these pictures were taken at the same time or even the same year, so the sizes and lighting will vary a bit. And when I get them uploaded I have some updated pictures of my pond. Still trying to get a good shot of the MASSIVE frog that lives there.
 

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Awh!!!
Pretty fishys. I think I'll deff be starting a pond of some sort when we get our house. It's so much fun to watch them flourish with life.
 

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Hi Izzy your pond is breathtaking and your Koi are beautiful ! Looking at a Koi pond is how I got started in fish keeping. I was with my daughter and when she saw how excited and happy I was watching the Koi she said mom you need and fish and she gave me my Betta Perseus a couple of weeks later for Mothers Day last year. I truly adore fish of all kinds !
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Thank you, everyone! I'm glad my photography skills have evolved to be able to show you guys just how beautiful my pond and the life around it are. A pond is so much more than the water and the fish.
 

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They're all so pretty! I've never seen one like Genbu before, I love him - I love them all! *hugs fishies*
 

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THREE CHEERS FOR PICTURE-WORTHY!!! And gardening fun ^.^ Good luck with the spikey plants - they sound dangerous O.O
 
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