Saturday, 5 February 2011
Do you remember last year when we put in our new pond? Its not quite a year yet but it has settled in really well and this warm growing season seems to have seasoned it. The fish are thriving and yesterday I was buzzed by a large dragonfly drinking from the surface, it was like a mini waterbombing helicopter zooming up and down and doing little manouevres in the air. Last week I saw a water spider walk blithely across the pond surface, how clever! A local wattle bird thinks we installed it for his use, he has taken to having his weekly bath, five quick plunges, in its waters.
I love that we have created a little ecosystem in our garden by being organic and growing lots of flowering plants, and also by having water around the place. Five years ago when we moved here this garden was patchy lawn, with a cement path and a huge hills hoist in the very middle of the garden. There wasn't much nature back then except snails and ants.
As well as the pond we have a few actual bird baths, really important in this hot weather, and every week we have regular groups coming through in noisy gangs - bulbuls, silver eyes, New Holland honeyeaters, a stately pigeon couple and more, I once counted 11 different species of bird in the garden. We even had a kingfisher visit late last year, he sat in a tree for a while and looked down on our pond. We counted our goldfish after the kingfisher left but they were all there! Not bad for the inner city, though we are lucky enough to back on to a tidal canal and narrow bush corridor.
If you don't have water in the garden I can't recommend it more. Even something as simple as a shallow pot will bring you new visitors. I've made them with wide shallow plant pots (without holes!) and with a large rock or gravel at the bottom so the birds can stand. Remember to put them amongst foliage to give the little birds some protection and also somewhere to wait their turn and heckle!
Last night Mr F called me out into the warm night air and we stood in silence listening to a new sound, the bop....bop....bop....bop.... conversation between two frogs, calling to each other across the garden. Both were sitting in water pots at ground level and I managed to capture this portrait, I think its Mr Frog, isn't he beautiful?
Do you have any favourite visitors?