I feel I should start by apologising to all for my late responses to comments and tardy visits to your blogs. Lindsay and I have been away for eleven days, visiting the Outer Hebrides. Unfortunately Lindsay started showing Covid symtoms on the way home and tested positive. It might, therefore, mean that output and visits from me might be further interrupted, particularly as the odds are that I'll catch it too!
Since becoming greatly interested in dragonflies, I had yearned for a garden pond. There was, however, one major problem to overcome, and that was Lindsay's phobia of frogs. Even without a pond, frogs and toads were occasionally turning up in the garden and causing problems for Lindsay.
Three years ago, I stumbled across a possible solution, and that was a UK company (www.gardenparadise.net) that were offering self-assembly wooden-sided rectangular ponds that could either be sunk into the ground or placed on a flat surface, so that the height of the walls would even be beyond the ability of an olympic high-jump champion frog. And just to add to the impenetrability, there was an overhanging lip to the the wooden capping.
Lindsay, very generously, agreed to me having a small one of these for a birthday present. There was quite a long lead time, but it just arrived in time for my birthday in June, 2020. It was quickly erected and filled with water. Four pond plants were ordered - three ornamental and one oxygenating - and installed at the appropriate height with regard to water level.
Although the pond was described as 1m x 1m x 429mm the actual water volume is about 0.8m x 0.8m x 0.38m. It is, therefore, rather small, and I had no confidence that it would attract wildlife.
In its first year, it did seem to attract a number of water beetles. More notable, however, was finding the Rat-tailed Maggot larva of a Helophilus pendulus hoverfly, and the first visit by a damselfly - a male Large Red Damselfly - in mid July.
|Rat-tailed Maggot (Helophilus pendulus) (hoverfly larva) - garden pond on 21st July, 2020|
|Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) (male) - garden pond on 17th July, 2020|
|damselfly exuvia - from pond on 31st May, 2021|
|caudal lamellae from exuvia from pond on 31st May, 2021|
|Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) (emergent female) - garden pond on 7th May, 2022|
|Large Red Damselfly #2 (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) (female) - garden pond on 7th May, 2022|
|Large Red Damselfly #3 (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) (teneral female) - garden pond on 7th May, 2022|