W is for Water


Hello, folks! Ol’ Wally stepping in here for Nutmeg. I couldn’t let her use anything but water for today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge. First, because it’s Thursday, and our regular readers know this is the day this old squirrel runs the Thirsty Thursday column featuring water. And second, we’ve had so much rain in these parts that it’s getting a bit hard to ignore.

‘Suppose you humans know how important water is. I mean, your lives depend on it. So do ours, but we wildlife aren’t in as good a position to keep that water source clean, or even there. We are relying on you all.

That means good planning when you put in your buildings…

to where that water goes from your parking lots…

to putting in places where the smaller critters might have a damp home…

to bigger solutions for water cleaning and recycling for entire buildings…

to simply putting out water when it isn’t raining, like in the heat of summer…

or the frozen winter.

It’s not from a squirrel, but let me leave you with this wise Native American proverb:

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.


N is for Nice Habitat on Thirsty Thursday

This old squirrel is struggling to match a ‘N’ Blogging A to Z Challenge post with his regular Thirsty Thursday column. Ol’ Wally here has searched around, but he doesn’t seem to have ever seen a newt at our backyard ponds, just a Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal at backyard pond

Maybe one thirsty bird does fit, after all, that’s the point of writing about water. And, heh, I see I’m not the first to see it happen.

Cardinal sundial birdbath

But after a little thought I decided our gardening readers might be a little more inspired by seeing what a few years in a sunny spot will do for your water-loving plants.

frog pond

Nice, huh? And if you clever human readers have any suggestions of other ‘N’ related water items, shoot me a  message.

Thirsty Thursday

We’ve had a light freeze here in Virginia, which has taken out the more sensitive plants. You folks might remember the native impatiens, Jewelweed, we have in the East. It is one of the first to be affected by any type of cold. From this large stand of plants, most of the fleshy stalks have freeze-dried and keeled over, leaving one yellowing plant.

Jewelweed dying out

Pond plants are dying away, too. Ol’ Wally here hasn’t gotten his old bones over to the golf course pond, but this here backyard pond is representative of what you see in the bigger ponds here abouts.

backyard pond

The plants are all but gone and the aquatic life–both the wild and domestic varieties–are slooowing way down for the colder months. The fish will go to deeper water, and the frogs and turtles bury themselves. You humans, too, should take this as a sign. You all don’t need to dig in too deep, but you should prepare for winter.

Thirsty Thursday

Ol’ Wally here takes things real slow come summertime. I often meander over to the closest pond to get a drink. On a visit this week, I met up with a ‘frog’ who did not hop into the water at my approach.

American Toad

Yep, this here is an American Toad. Though he started out in the water as a tadpole like the bullfrogs who have practically taken over this backyard pond, he doesn’t like deep water. He stared at me and I stared at him, and then I left. I’d rather he stuck around so we can have some amphibian diversity in our backyards.

Thirsty Thursday

Hello, folks. Virginia feels like it’s in the swing of summer, so of course our thoughts turn to swimmin’ holes. A regular reader sent a photo of a beautiful one from her neck of hte woods, which does happen to be Virginia as well. Thanks over there!

freshwater pond

The Yellow Iris are pretty. Though this old squirrel got to thinking about that little turtle I saw last week. You see, these here plants grow thick around the perimeter of this pond. And if you’ve ever tried to gnaw through an iris stalk, you know they’re stiff as cardboard.

Yellow Water Iris

How’s a turtle to walk himself in or out of there? On the flip side, if he can wedge himself in, he’s got a darned good hiding spot!

P is for Pond on Thirsty Thursday

Yes sir, folks! This old squirrel couldn’t be luckier with this Blogging A To Z Challenge thingy. My day has landed on a good letter, ‘P’, which can only stand for pond in my furry life. Ponds mean water and homes for wildlife. They may be found naturally, but no wild animal will complain about an artificial one. Heck, we drink from worse locations than that. To celebrate my good fortune in landing the letter P, I have an especially pretty backyard pond photo sent by a reader.

backyard pond

I sure wish this one was in our neighborhood!