The Cranberry Bog

In the spring I purchased one cranberry plant from a local nursery and kept it in the greenhouse over the summer.

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It sprouted runners which I embedded in soil in smaller pots around the mother plant. I ended up with 13 pots with multiple new plants  per pot.

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By the end of September, the mother plant had produced 3 berries and many extra plants.

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I dug a small depression above my pond waterfalls, and lined it with old underlay and liner from the previous spillway of the pond.

I made the floor level by flooding it with water and then cutting down the high spots underneath.

I made the floor level by flooding it with water and then cutting down the high spots underneath.

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The tractor bucket filled the depression with fertile soil and peat moss.

The finished bog planted for next year's cranberry crop. (Theoretically!)

The finished bog planted for next year’s cranberry crop. (Theoretically!) An embedded 5cm drain pipe which will allow overflow to the pond will prevent the soil eroding from the structure.

Pond work on waterfall finished

So I finally finished the reworking of the pond fountain. Its now a cataract with a small  bog added as well for growing cranberries. ( see next post)

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Water flowing.. and the banks are reseeded to grass and spring bulbs.
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View from the top down to the pond. 5 pools were installed with small pockets of soil embedded in segregated cusps along each of the 5 pools. Two input pipes are at the top. One for the recirculating pump and one for a buried 2 inch line that taps into a water run on the edge of the upper field.

 

Redesign of the waterworks at the Pond

I was never happy with the fountain I had constructed originally when I built the pond. It was more or less a temporary solution.  So last week I decided to redo it.

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Digging the path through where the old waterfall was to make what will be a series of 5 waterfalls at the north end of the pool.
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The underlying piping infrastructure. Included are a 2″ intake from the pond, a 2″ intake for winter intake from surface water flowing down the south side of the property, a line to three 3/4′ output pipes to spray water back into the pond, a 3”drain for winter water input from the field above the pond, an electrical line from the pump motor leading to an outdoor plugin above the pond, and a water input line to supply evaporative loss from the pond when the two upper storage tanks from winter rains run out. .
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The pipes are all covered now and concrete dams are built. Today some final stone placement is left to do before the cascade through the 5 pools for the water entry to the pond is finished. The orange level is to try to keep the lips of each pool horizontal.

The spillway outlet for the pond originally ran out the south end of the pond and this work is on the North end. Now it remains to remove the rocks from the old spillway, install a 4 inch  underground drain, and backfill the trench and lower pumping pond.

 

Emergence of dragonfly adults.

Dragonfly nymphs in their last instar crawl up the stems of pond plants where the adult emerges . I see many exoskeletons still clinging to the stems:

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Dragonfly nymph exoskeleton
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Newly emerged dragonfly with one wing not yet inflated.

INSTAR: An instar ( i/ˈɪnstɑr/, from the Latin “form”, “likeness”) is a developmental stage of arthropods, such as insects, between each moult (ecdysis), until sexual maturity is reached. Arthropods must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow or assume a new form. ( Wikipedia)

Azolla the floating fern – a Nitrogen fixer through a symbiotic relationship.

In August the bloom of Azolla has started to increase. I added Azolla to the pond several years ago and have in the past had to skim it off as it covers the complete surface in late summer. It does provide good compost material  with high Carbon and Nitrogen content.  It normally cannot live in Northern climates but somehow has survived well here in the pond.2015-08-06azolla2s

There is a theory called the “Azolla event ” where it is believed that Azolla in the tropical Arctic 39 million years ago fixed so much Carbon that it reversed global warming. Reference .

A good reference can be found at the Azolla Foundation

“Azolla is a unique plant that can help reduce man-made climate change and provide biofertilizer, livestock feed, food and renewable energy anywhere in the world.

The Azolla Foundation was set  up by Azolla Biosystems Ltd founders Alexandra and Jonathan Bujak to provide a platform for sharing information about Azolla and its contribution to new technologies such as space exploration and planetary colonization.”

Also, the Nitrogen Fixation is the result of a sysmbiotic relationship between azolla and a cyanobacteria. This reference shows the formula for the process:

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Azolla ssp and the large green leaves are Lemna, Duckweed

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Salviniales
Family: Salviniaceae
Genus: Azolla
Type species
A. filiculoides

Anax junius – Common Green Darner -Dragonfly

I have only seen this one female specimen in the pond, and it was clinging to a pondweed leaf, almost submerged in the water, and didn’t object to being placed on the lilypad.

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Anax junius – Common Green Darner -Dragonfly

greendragfly
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera
Family: Aeshnidae
Genus: Anax
Species: A. junius
Binomial name
Anax junius
(Drury, 1773)

Yellow Snowflake: Nymphoides geminata- pond plant

Last fall I got this small plant with floating leaves  and small yellow flowers. It spreads asexually with stolons near the water surface. It also was winter hardy Zone 8-10 as it overwintered in the pond.  This one was supplied to a plant store by a local company here in Victoria, Applied Aquatics.

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Yellow snowflake Nymphoides geminata

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Menyanthaceae
Genus: Nymphoides
Species: geminata