Category Archives: Wildlife

Colours and patterns from the pond


Hope you enjoy these images from the pond:

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Filed under Garden Pond, Green, Vienna Life, Wildlife

Newts, Newts, Newts!


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Today was the moment! I built and developed the garden pond for the purpose of creating an additional habit for the local wildlife – its proved a success in attracting additional birds, mammals, and insects, as well as frogs and toads. But of all the creatures I’d hoped to see in and around the pond, number one on my list was Newts. It’s therefore been an exciting time this evening to finally discover, after seven years, that they have arrived.

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I’ve been able to confirm three adults so far but have the impression that there are more yet to be seen. Getting a picture of our new additions hasn’t proved easy and I suspect that it’s going to take some time to secure a blurred shot.

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The fascinating and entertaining ‘aliens’ who live in my garden


One of the many dragonflies, which spend so much time dancing and darting around my garden pond, flew into the middle of a water fight this morning. Unharmed it sat on the stalk of a plant drying off for long enough for me to grab my camera and get some pictures:

Below the surface of the water the pond is teeming with life including dragonfly in the nymph phase of their life cycle, which I understand can take up to 4 years to complete. Occasionally one of the larger nymphs will scurry into view, as it moves between leaf cover on the bottom of the pond, look for all the world life an extra from an alien movie. If you look carefully at the leaves and stalks of the plants that reach up above the surface of the water you can see the husks of these alien creatures, left behind after the dragonfly has emerged:

I’m not the only one for enjoys the dragonfly. Leicester the cat gets regard exercise chasing them around the garden.

Very occasionally he actually catches one and will then happily sit in front of me crunching away:

The pond is an enjoyable place to sit but its bigger value is to the local wildlife and we have a healthy population of frogs and toads in the garden. These wonderful amphibians are excellent at helping to keep the slug population under control. The pond also helps to attract an increased range of birds and mammals to the garden.

I’ve posted some additional pic’s of the dragonfly, other visitors and pond here

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Filed under Garden Pond, Green, Vienna Life, Water, Wildlife

A grazing deer becomes star attraction


The sight of a deer grazing is not that unusual when you are out for a walk in or near Vienna Woods. However, this particular animal was very much the centre of attention as it happily enjoyed lunch surrounded people playing, kite flying or simply taking a stroll in the afternoon sunshine:

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Filed under Environment, Green, Vienna Life, Wildlife

Frog (K)nights!


Well they don’t need swords, armour or steeds. The frogs and toads are out in force on these summer nights in an endless battle to decimate the slug population that is itself trying to eat its way through R’s vegetables.

One of the definite benefits of the pond has been the growth in the amphibian population of the garden. However, you do need to walk around the garden with care.

Some frog facts, more about amphibians and a strange story from Carinthia, Austria, for those interested:

http://www.savethefrogs.com/cool-frog-facts/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/

http://www.austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2011-04-19/32456/Italian_thieves_focus_on_Carinthian_frogs

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The humble urban backyard can help save the planet says RHS report


The good news, from a report commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, says that there
are four key areas in which gardens make a difference to our environment. The
bad news is that I now have even less excuse for not spending more time working
in the garden:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/house-and-home/gardening/dig-for-victory-how-your-garden-can-help-beat-climate-change-2288156.html

Adding a pond, as well as additional trees and bushes, has increased the resident and visiting wildlife population in our garden. Amongst those visiting are dragonfly of various sizes and colours:

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Environment & science, Garden Pond, Gardening, Green, Vienna Life, Wildlife

Animals and vegetables


Well the growing boxes are now all installed and R is busy finishing off the planting. The boxes are an idea we used back in England. There the issue was to make use of part of the garden that ran down the side of the house. Here the boxes provide a solution to the problems of growing in the very hot summer weather (without using excessive amounts of water) and quality of the soil in the garden.

I also managed today to finish off this year’s reshaping and maintenance of the garden pond. I’ve been building, expanding and reshaping the pond for about seven years now. Over that time the number and variety of birds, amphibians, insects and animals either resident or visiting the garden has significantly increased. About 80% of the material used has been recycled from
bits and pieces around the garden. A few of the original plants were bought whilst the rest were rescued from a forest pond before it was filled in as part of some road improvements, In addition to the wildlife benefits the pond provides an excellent place to relax and enjoy the garden.

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Filed under Garden Pond, Gardening, Green, Vienna Life, Wildlife