Denizens of the Pond

The “little pond” of Little Pond Farm is actually a large water feature. It was not easy to build, but I had a lot of help. It was constructed ten years ago. When designing it, I had imagined a half-dozen beautiful koi swimming about. The first year I bought several young and pretty fish. They were small. A Great Blue Heron dined on many. But a few survived. Especially this one. She was not even two-inches long when I purchased her for $2.99, I now call her The Beast. She is savvy. The pond has an underwater cave where she stays safe from predators and where she sleeps in the winter.


The Beast could live for decades. Her minions are her descendants, fathered by feeder goldfish.


Even as the pond was being built, critters moved in. A bullfrog lived here for ten years, until it died last spring from what I assume was old age. Bullfrogs, like chickens, are omnivores. The large ones even eat garter snakes. When one animal disappears, another takes its place. I’d wondered all last summer why I didn’t see any more large frogs. Now I know why.


This is an Eastern Ribbon Snake. It is an aquatic reptile. 90% of its diet is composed of frogs, toads and salamanders. It ignores the Beast. It ignores me, which means that I can watch it hunt. Here the snake has just snatched a frog and is pulling it into its lair.


Later, the snake came out to sun itself. You can see the bulge where the frog is in its belly.


I miss that old bullfrog, but life sure is interesting around the Little Pond.


  1. Great photos! Awesome that you were able to be there and capture it for us to see!
    Thanks, again!

  2. Circle of life! So glad you get to witness these events. The wonders of nature are nothing short of miraculous!

  3. Darn Blue Heron cleaned us out last year…..He looked so out of place and silly fishing for those minute little Goldfish, but that did not stop him. He came back each year until he had eaten every last one of our fish. Your fish must be smarter?

      • Our pond has hiding spots too…..I think our mistake was training our fish to be hand fed. They would surface whenever they saw movement from above. We had stopped feeding them the last couple of years but they are like Elephants and did not forget. Unlike Elephants they made a nice snack for the Heron.

  4. Does that snake eat chickens? Can he or others get into your barns? I do not like snakes. I vote that they all be removed from the planet.

      • What an awful world it would be without my friendly garter snakes keeping garden pests in check, BTW many species would vote for US to be removed from the face of the earth!

        • I suppose that is why God told us in the Book of Genesis in the Bible to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. We have dominion over snakes too. :-)

  5. Wow, this is wonderful! The most circle of life I get is watching the “can’t catch him to get him fixed” feral male cat chasing my “fixed just in time” feral female cat in my back yard. Is the snake a potential dinner for the Great Blue Heron?

  6. Thanks for sharing the drama that is out of camera range. Your life is richer by having your Little Pond, and now so is ours.
    Is Siouxsie still clueless? Does she ever leave the barn? I see her inspecting the nesting boxes and hovering around the last one every time I check. Is she protecting something? I’m guessing she’s showing how ditzy she is.

    • p.s. I saw a chick perched on top of the grit feeder lording over the other girls. How do you keep them from flapping over? How long can 26 chicks stay in a brooder that size. I am amazed to watch them change daily. My students love chickcam!

      • There’s still a lot of room in the brooder, but the sides will have to be raised soon, or they’ll be roosting on the edges.

  7. It was interesting to see that I was not the only one humming the song from The Lion King while looking at your great pictures today ,Terry. I was wondering about Souxsie too. Has she not figured out how to get outside with the rest of the girls?

  8. Cool snake it looks like it has a zipper on both sides! I have a silver goldfish about two years old but a friend of mine had one for 9 years, wow they can live a long time! Terry has the best post, I love HenCam!

  9. Terry would love to subscribe to receive your blog my email, but do not find anyplace on your side bar to do this. Could you tell me how to go about this as I am relatively new to blogging.
    Love your Blog!!!!

    • On the bottom of this page there’s a little orange square (next to the YouTube icon). Click on that. It’s the RSS feed. Follow the directions and you’ll get email notices for my blog posts. There are other options, too.