As we hit a period of slightly hot weather, with highs near 90 forecast for tomorrow, Starflower has at last been able to enjoy swimming in the pond. She got her cast off on Thursday, and her arm looks great; hardly even a tan line, and she was somehow able to keep good muscle tone.
However, there has been one obstacle to full pond enjoyment. Or, should I say, a bunch of annelid obstacles.
It seems every time we show up at the sandy edge of the pond, the leech patrol is there to meet us. I thought they hung out in the muckier end of the pond, but sometimes you can see seven or eight of them cruising the sand shallows. I don't mind them; I usually dash out to the deep hole before they can come near me. Mr. Attitude, being a tough guy, doesn't mind them. But Starflower minds them...a lot. So much that the poor girl hasn't had her usual carefree swim yet this year. I can't say I blame her.
The options are 1) Stock some kind of fish that will eat the leeches. But that will take time, and money, and the fish won't likely survive the winter and get big enough to eat. 2) make leech traps, and sell or give them away for fish bait. But that too would take a bit of time and effort, and adequate leech removal would not be guaranteed. So that leaves 3) obtain a small amount of copper sulfate and apply it to the pond. I don't like going the chemical kill route, and I'll have to make absolutely sure it won't harm frogs or turtles, but copper sulfate is a lot less harmful than a lot of the stuff that has been finding its way into the groundwater in Minnesota (not here, thankfully; we're near the top of a watershed with no agriculture or industry above us.)
I have encountered a few other nuisance critters, both four and six legged, in my garden. A little natural chemical warfare may be in order. But that's another post.
Oh, and notice the reflection blob on the top of the picture. Any ID guesses?