Our Mt. Shasta Forest pond, Northeast of McCloud, 2011

This is how the pond looked when we first saw it on January 27th.

And it looked looked much the same in Feb, March and April....in fact, in April we could hardly SEE our home thru the snow!

UNBELIEVABLE - There was still snow on the ground and the pond wasn't thawed all the way on June 1st!!
Compare it to how in looked May 28, 2010 - we thought THAT year was odd!
There was even snow showing behind the pond mid-of June - this is unheard of....we're 'only' at 4,750'

The pond didn't even look very pretty when it finally did thaw, as it was covered in pine and fir pollen!
One of the first birds to visit us was a gorgeous Hermit Warbler
Another was a Western Tanager
And, if any of you can tell us which Empidonax flycatcher this is, we'd appreciate it! Email us by clicking here.
Other pond visitors included some unwelcome Cowbirds - the females lay their eggs in other bird's nests - often of Warblers
We put a 'spy cam' up on the pond and it took this darling photo of the doe on the first day she brought her twin fawns in


But when we returned in July, after traveling for 3wks, the pond looked GREAT!
And look at the driftwood we found in Utah - we think it looks like a frog jumping! Click the image to see if you agree.

A BIG thrill for us was when we added a 52nd bird to our list of species using the pond - a Townsend's Solitare (click here to see photo2)
We're happy to report that we've finally gotten the native Seep Monkeyflowers coming up on their own!
And the Leopard Lily we planted bloomed!
Other special pond visitors included a pair of Nashville Warblers and a young female Variegated Meadowhawk; the Tiger Moths that use the California Stickweed as their host plant; the Twelve-spotted Skimmer's that breed in the pond, and now, the yearling Western Toadlet we introduced.


The month was off to a fine start when we found the elusive Shasta Lilies in bloom ....amazing plants,they just grow up and out of the chaparral!! These aren't really near the pond though.
And, IN the pond, the Water Shield was looking particularly nice! It's great for creating shade over the pond.
We had a pump failure at our well, but we were able to keep the pond full to overflow. Here's an image of the overflow area which we've constructed to look and function as a stream outlet.
A young Stellar's Jay entertained us with his 'punk hairdo'
It was flustrating trying to document this darner - he's a Variable Darner, and darn it, they just don't stop flying to pose!!
But the BIG surprise was when a Black Bear visited the pond while we were out eating dinner - did he want to have some wine with us? Click on the thumbnail to see images of him.

We decided that we were always getting our feet muddy getting back to the house after cooling off in the pond, so we decided to build a "dry stream bed" to serve as a walkway. We collected sand and rock from a nearby creek. Here's the result:
It worked well and when our son and granddaughter visited, she helped us pour pavers that we interspersed in the walkway for more even footing.Although we poured them into a form, and they were all the same color, after they dried, we moved them, interspersing them with other colors of concrete.
Click on thumbnail to the right to enlarge/see more.
Click here to see the comleted dry creekbed/walkway
We had also noticed that the bare foundation wall showing from across the pond was, well, less than attractive, so while our granddaughter was there, we let her help me paint rocks on the foundation! We used the same cement form as we'd used on the 'pavers" - it worked, was fun, and a lot less expensive than using real or even faux rocks!
Click on thumbnail to the right to enlarge/see more. Click here to see the completed foundation painting.

A success for us was that the Arrowhead took root and is growing and flowering in the pond.

[see more images of all our pond's wildlife visitors at the link Our Shasta Pond's Wildlife Visitors: list & photo links]