Jack Schmidling Productions, Inc.
18016 Church Road ~ Marengo IL 60152
MOST RECENT PHOTOS
We had been so plagued with duckweed on our small pond that we just declared the war over and lost interest in the pond.
By late Spring, it was a sea of green and might as well have been filled with cement. Other than frogs, we could see nothing in the way of life in the pond.
I tried a large pump to recirculate and strain the water but that was hopeless. Poisoning with chemicals seemed too aggressive so we just got depressed.
This is the solution we came up with this year. We peddle around in our new "yacht" and scoop it up with a racket ball racket.
Every day I have been going out and collecting at least one 5 gallon bucket full of the stuff. Although the war is far from over, we are clearly winning.
The pathetic irony of the story is that we actually went to another pond and collected some duckweed and introduced it into our pond when we first moved out here.
Two years later and we gave up on the boat and surrendered again. But......
Well, sort of.
In our unending war to control the Duck Weed on our pond, I came up with the great idea
of putting out some decoys to attract Mallards which presumably, will eat the Duck Weed.
It's been about a month now and this frog is the only one to show any interest in the decoys at all.
I thought this was a fluke but it seems to have become a favorite place for him to soak up the Sun.
EGGS WORK BETTER
Last week we talked about using decoys to attract Mallards to our pond in the hope that
they would help to control the rampant Duckweed.
I also mentioned that we were incubating some eggs as a backup program. These are the first two that hatched
out on day 26, right on schedule.
They don't look very happy but they are just resting up from that big job of getting out of the egg.
After an hour of rest, they look like they are ready to take on the Duckweed.
We started out with 12 eggs but two were eliminated after 5 days as infertile and as of press time tonite,
we have 4 healthy ducklings and the rest seem to be duds.
I am delighted to report that ducks really do eat Duckweed. These guys remind me of the ADM TV commercials
with rows of tandem combines cutting through endless fields of wheat.
They took to Duckweed like babies to milk. Within two days of hatching, they totally ignored
the "duck chow" if there was Duckweed in their water tray. By 4 weeks, they were eating
several pounds every day.
The bad news is that there are now only two left after their first week in the pond.
Here are our little "duckies", all grown up and ready for Winter.
The big question is, what are they going to do about it? Take off with a passing flock and migrate or
just hang around and see what happens.
As can be seen, they haven't had much of an impact on the Duck Weed which was the whole point of the experiment.
We have a bubbler in the pond so there will always be some open water but as the Duck Weed dies off and the water starts to freeze around the margins, they will become more and more dependant upon our feeding them.