My Silly Pondcam – Post 20 – Let’s Sink it again….

OK… Pondcam has been up there on that far berm across the pond for long it enough. It isn’t seeing anything because it was probably the most uninteresting place to point the camera on my whole property. My excuse is… How in the world was I supposed to know that? It looked like a nice place for some weirdo animal to hang out and just have a party. If there were teenagers around, I am sure they would have been drinking beer there all night long, but there are no teenagers in my neighborhood. Only little kids. I have unofficially named that path the “Dead Zone” because nothing is there. Apparently animals don’t go through it at all. Maybe it is cursed. My kids don’t like it, it looks really scary to them and they don’t want to go there as are pretty convinced monsters live there. Now they haven’t seen what we have seen. I am pretty confident there isn’t a monster that lives there.

It is 9:30PM on Thursday as I start this post. I put pondcam out on the far berm staring at the dead zone 4 days and 5 hours ago. That is 101 hours of pondcam being on. In the morning it still acts up. I can see it is having trouble communicating, then as the day progresses it fixes itself. I don’t know why it does that. I suspect it is dew collecting on the connections, but I don’t know for sure. I hope this problem goes away as we sink it because it will be closer to PONDNET.

Before I can move Pondcam, its mount, it’s battery and it’s solar panels I have to see what our dock looks like in the water.

I go to the workshop and drag out the dock. I put it in the water. The dock doesn’t weigh very much, but it is really hot today. Like 96 degrees and HUMID! I hate working in this weather. It makes me very cranky. Here is what it looks like.


That is what I was expecting. After all, our whole front end of that thing is where the bottles are. I am hoping that when I put the antenna and mount on the front it will even it out a bit. I can move the battery around too to make it more level if I need to.

So I drag all of pondcam and its parts back to the path I cut with the manual weed whacker. I put the dock in the water and wingnut the mount for pondcam in place. I tie a couple of ropes on each side of pondcam so I can anchor it to shore so it doesn’t float away. I lower the camera down, connect the batteries and solar panels.

Now doing this was a really crappy job. All around the edge of the pond, even at the beach is clay. The pond is so low this late in the summer, to get really close to the water you have to stand in wet clay. Clay is so much worse than dirt and mud to work in. It really has some weird properties. When my pond was dug they used a 4ft wide shovel and when the guy would lift an entire load it would come out of it looking like gelatin. As he would dump each shovel full it would kind of land like jello and shake a little. That year, like every year, it got really dry in the summer and all of that clay gets really hard like stone. Clay is nothing like dirt. It is super sticky when it gets wet. When you step in it your shoes come off and if you are lucky enough not to step in a really wet spot it still clumps onto your shoes so you are picking up grass and junk every time you walk. I hate working at the edge of the pond. But… pondcam is worth it.

Here is the result of my effort. One thought that comes to mind as I write this is how small the dock looks. In my workshop it looks big. Even with the pond this low were the surface area is half of what it should be, the dock and camera look really small to me.


It isn’t level, but I don’t care. It should be on and sending pictures to my email right now. I don’t check right away. I first sit down by the PONDNET access point and take a look to see if the antenna is visible. I take a blurry picture because it is getting dark and the camera exposure is much slower. Then I grab a stick and start scraping all of the clay and grass off of my feet from my little expedition near the pond (It would take me a whole post to explain the trouble I had with the fresh cut long grasses that were sticking to the bottom of my clay encrusted shoes. I really hated doing that part).


I am happy. I throw some fish food all over and around the camera, here is a quick pic of what that looks like in the pond.


You can see the fish all over the place. My plan is to tell my kids they need to feed the fish by throwing food around pondcam instead of the beach. The fish in the pond are strange. My whole life I have always loved ponds and lakes and mine is different than any I have been too. All of the fish in there are totally used to people. I am sure they were hand fed in the hatchery. And every year I buy about 50 lbs of floating fish food and just throw a bunch in there every once and a while. This completely messed up the natural behavior of all of the fish. If a person walks around the pond, the fish will follow you. If they see the top of my head over the grass when I am walking around it, I can see fish swimming up to the edge where I am. It is totally unnatural. If I can change their behavior and teach them that only Pondcam feeds them… Then they will always be hanging around pondcam. And I will always be able to see them from my desk. It will be so fun.

So I run upstairs and it is getting dark. The email setup where it emails me isn’t working very well because it sent about 100 emails and just sorting through them to find any one picture that is worth anything is taking a really long time. Here is the best I have.


It is clear to me now that fish are not going to pose in front of this camera for me to take a picture. They swim. They will move fast past the camera. It will never get a clean shot of them. The video of them is where it is at…. That is what I want to see. If you want to see anything you will need to login to it and look for yourself. After logging in, click the view video button at the top right. And one last thing…. VERY IMPORTANT… If you see an albino catfish send me and email or write a post. It’s name is “Old Whitey” and I haven’t seen it since early last year… I am afraid he is dead.

If you forgot… Here is how you view the video… Remember… It may not be up tomorrow when you read this. If water gets in the camera again… It may be dead for good.

User: pondcam
Password: pondcam

Oh… One last thing… I stopped the way it sends me pictures of what it sees, instead of emailing me it now sends a picture to a directory on one of my computers. Tomorrow morning I can quickly scan it for anything interesting because I won’t have to open an email, but just scan a bunch of picture files. I am so looking forward to it.

3 Thoughts on “My Silly Pondcam – Post 20 – Let’s Sink it again….

  1. I clicked the cool fish with the glasses and I successfully logged into pondcam! This is so exciting! I even saw a fish swim by and there is noise and everything! Why did I find it strangely hypnotizing and relaxing to just simply watch the pondcam?

  2. I have been watching your pondcam for a while. no movement. here is a thought… behind (not directly) the camera, put in a bubble hose. the small pump can be mounted to the raft. the bubbler may attract more fish to the general area of the camera.

  3. why wont it work for me??

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