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Spring is in the air

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Here in the E. Cape we have had a wet cold winter. My "experiment" pond was the lowest in 10+ years but 3 floods between Jan & July made all the work in this pond worthwhile.
We had a sniff of warmer weather last week and a few fat egg laiden females starting moving around as soon as the frogs starting croaking. No males are visible yet - only yearlings following these females with their tongues hanging out...
Today we had 31C and berg winds and the water is inching towards the 15 degree mark so I could not resist to do a night visit under spotlight to see what is happening as Spring draws near and this is what I found:


This shows that the water fleas (Daphnia) have become active and circled in red is two young Vlei Kurper (banded kurper) using the opportunity to feed on whatever the light has attracted. This bades well for the bass fry after the spawn however I am still going to fertilize the pond with phosphates as soon as it gets to 16C to get the algae bloom going for the food chain.


I thought it impossible that flying ants would have hatched already but lo and behold one dropped out the night sky onto the water surface. This is even better news.


During March/April there was another flush of spawning possibly from adult F1 Floridas that I moved into the pond. The fingerlings have overwintered and here is one healthy looking one hiding in the weeds and +/-3" long.


Meanwhile the bullrushes and other rhizome water plants haven't shown any sign of Spring growth yet. The waterlillies are still battling to recover from the cold but I have some tricks up my sleeve this year to get a green garden growing in this pond to support aquatic life.
To cut a long story short, Spring signs are here and even the odd crab is emerging from hibernation. Yesterday was New moon so I will watch with interest what happens in the next 14 days or so.
[Image: big_fish_eat_little_fish.jpg]

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