Friday, June 28, 2013

The Blue Heron and the Pond

Finally, we can sit back and enjoy the pond.  The water lilies are just about to bloom; the cardinals are twittering nearby; and the butterflies are darting in and out of the flowers by the shed.  Life is sweet:  however, we are not the only ones enjoying the pond.  The blue heron has been watching and taking in the activities around the new watering hole for him with a good food supply.

We'd seen the blue heron many times hunting and stalking his prey in the scenic creek.  We have also seen him sitting on the railing on top of the trellis watching the pond.  I didn't think much about it until I found him in the pond early one morning.  I shooed him out in no uncertain terms.  He flew off high above my head and over the house.  He squawked as he did so.

The blue heron came back several times for an easy breakfast and we felt that we had to do something and fast.  We decided to put a netting of some sort over the pond.  But we couldn't just lay it down on the water or the heron could walk over it and help himself to the fish or kill the fish.

My husband built a frame of PVC pipes that he covered with bird netting.  We tied the netting down at the edges.  We also put pretty ribbons here and there on the netting to warn birds and other animals that there was something floating on top of the pond.  Who knows if that was a deterrent or an invitation?

We found out a few days later that it was not a deterrent for the blue heron.  My husband found him under the netting!  When the blue heron saw my husband, he carefully eased himself back out from under the netting and flew away.  We were impressed by his ingenuity although he created more work for us.

Darn!  We had to cover the sides of the frame, too.

The frame with the netting detracts from the beauty and enjoyment of the pond.  But, if we really want to see the pond without the frame, all we have to do is lift the frame out of the pond area and place it out of our vision.  However, we had better put it back before we retire for the night.  The blue heron is still watching.  That's all right:  we are watching him, too.

We talked to other people with ponds and they have have also had the same problem with herons.  Some place a heron decoy in the pond area, but is does not take long for the blue heron to ignore hat deterrent.

The blue heron is still with us but he has resigned himself to forge the scenic creek and leave the pond alone, I believe.   This is the end of the pond series.   I'm going bird watching for the weekend.

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