Monday, September 13, 2010

Low Water Garden

It’s now been seven weeks since we’ve had a rain of more than a tenth of an inch. The water level is low in the water garden and the black liner of the artificial structure is easily visible. Rainwater coming off the house roof supplies the water and even in dry summers there’s usually enough rain to keep the water garden closes to full. We’re certainly making up for the abundance of rain this spring. Tadpoles usually consume any dead plant material, but they were all eaten by herons. In their absence, old water lily stalks and other debris is becoming increasingly noticeable.

The plastic liner makes it impossible for plants near the garden to make use of the water. As a result, plants are drooping and falling. These Orange Coneflowers appear to be searching for a way to utilize the water. Our household water supply is from a well that also has a diminishing supply in times of drought, so I don’t use any of that water for irrigation. If the flowers can’t survive on what nature supplies, they will die.

This is the only open water within a thousand feed in any direction, so we’ve accumulated quite a collection of Green Frogs. The rim of the pot in which these guys are resting is supposed to be an inch below the water when the garden is full.

This newly transformed Green Frog is one of the few tadpoles that survived the heron onslaughts. It’s still carrying a nub of a tail.

Insects now come to the water garden to drink. The increased frog population has made this a dangerous proposition. This Buckeye butterfly managed to drink and move on without being eaten.

The water garden has also attracted a small collection of Yellow-legged Meadowhawks. These guys are constantly zipping out to catch small flies that have been attracted by the water. This is the first time I’ve seen these in such numbers. There are no great chances for rain predicted in the near future, so I guess our drought will continue for a while. Everyday seems to bring a new addition to our water garden fauna and I’m anxious to see what comes next.


  1. Hi Steve...the drought goes on huh!!
    I can see why the frogs and other wildlife would seek out your supply of water!!
    The frogs in the pot are real cute and are well disguised there but the butterflies and drangonfies are living a little dangerously.
    Thats the nature of the beast I guess!!
    WE have had cooler temp.and rain and sunny breaks with threats of rain for about four days now!!

  2. Hi grammie g. Still not looking good for rain here. Over the weekend, storms passed about 20 miles south of us and produced over an inch of rain. I haven't had the mower out for four weeks.