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July 2008
It was a long winter.  This spring I introduced male toads to the turtle aquarium and they began to serenade the female (see "Who Gets the Worm?"). The videos attached are of the males singing in the aquarium.  The noise they made went on all night long. Next morning, all toads went to the pond and 3 days later we had toad eggs.  Eggs hatched, resulting in thousands of tadpoles and, some weeks later, multitudes of toadlets moving out into the neighborhood.

The Pond in Winter

Winter is a time when the pond is pretty quiet.  The fish are at the deepest end with almost no activity, at times under 4 or 5 inches of ice.  The frogs and turtles are hibernating, waiting for the return of warm weather.  The waterfall can still bring something to enjoy. On a bright day, when the snow isn’t blowing, it’s still nice to listen to the sounds and watch the crystals form around the splashing water.  Here is a video to share with you what I get to see whenever I want.  Maybe you should think about adding a pond to your landscape.  They are a little work, but add so much beauty and tranquility to any yard.

Beginnings and Purposes

January 31, 2007
I created this space today because I wanted an old college friend to see what I’d been up to the last 37 years.  I had contacted him via telephone after finding him through a people search  and some detective work.  We talked last weekend and I promised to provide some pictures.  Email is cumbersome and limited for sending large numbers of pictures. I had thought about setting up an album share at Kodak Gallery, then ran across Microsoft Live Spaces while researching a method of downgrading Windows Vista to Window XP.  When I saw that I would be able to easily share not only pictures, but video as well, this seemed to be an exciting alternative.  Many people have also expressed an interest in my pond project, my fake rock construction and my pond turtles that this seems a convenient way to share with not only my close friends, but the general internet community those skills that I have learned and executed since my retirement.  There are a lot of people interested in water features and I would like to share what I have learned and accomplished.  Time will tell how successful this personal blog will be.
Today, I added three albums reflective of what are now the important elements of my retired life.  Album one is a potpourri of photographs of those people and animals that bring sweetness  to my life.  There will be many more additions to this. The second is a sampling of the pond project created in my back yard over the last two years .  I will be adding much more to this album as well, since the pond is an ongoing project.  The turtles that were in my classroom for 25 years now enjoy a comfortable retirement in the 2000+ gallon concrete pond landscaped with faux rock composed of cement and recycled styrofoam.  One of my turtles (Western Painted-Chrysemus picta belli) was so delighted with it that she dug a nest at the side of the pond and deposited 8 eggs in July, 6 of which hatched.  I now am raising 6 hatchlings, which will be featured in future additions to this space. The third album contains a sampling of the perennial flowers that adorn a berm garden that borders my pond.