Three enigmas on my hike this morning (ask for your CSI skills)

Three enigmas on my hike this morning: 1. The mystery of the polished elderberries ... 2. What creature is swirling the steel water tanks ... 3. What kind of algae is white and takes over the pond ...
1. The mystery of the polished elderberries ... I figured out that the white yeast on these elderberries is flushed off at the top by the birds who swoop in (they can't hover) and with their wings, they flap and pluck berries - where the wings wipe the yeast off the berries:
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5567/14579428514_2b7a772c73_b.jpg
2. What creature is swirling the steel water tanks ... But, what is making this swirl in my gray steel tanks and the same swirl (in the middle steel tank) of my neighbor?
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3879/14394466730_ae3a8b91b8_b.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5507/14533742252_a60d057f23_b.jpg
3. What kind of algae is white and takes over the pond ... This stuff is white???? What is it? Is it algae which innoculates the pool? Or some other cruft?
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3873/14394674748_1eff393e2c_b.jpg
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I don't mean to be picky, but who is "Pink Slim," a skinny fudge packer? And while we're at it, isn't "White Water Mold" racist?!?
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Some animal that's rubbing against the tank looking for water. I assume it's pretty dry where you live. At first I thought you were talking about the swirling inside the tank. I'd look for animal hairs caught on anything that might trap them. Could be deer eating some of the foilage that's hanging down near the tanks.
http://www.outdoorlife.com/node/45352
Has some interesting information about "deer rubs." Lots of other animals will run up on things like your tank to leave their scent markings, particularly on something like a water tank whose obvious leakage (from the photo) probably is considered "good territory" because it provides an important resource.
Obviously a job for a "critter cam" - If you lived close by I'd lend you mine - it's solved many a mystery about who did something in the backyard when I wasn't watching. Reminds me of what happened a while back - people had tied yellow ribbons around their oak trees as reminders of family serving in Iraq. Almost every day, someone would rip the ribbons off the trees. Damned liberal peaceniks were suspected <g> but a critter cam revealed it was squirrels, building nests with the ribbons which they apparently found irresistible.
--
Bobby G.



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On Sun, 06 Jul 2014 08:52:39 -0700, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren, Thanks for pitching in on the "cooties". I thought it was strange to be a white color since I thought algae were photosynthetic.
Googling for pink slime, I had to add "pond water" because it came up with foodstuffs first, this backs up your inference that it's a bacterium: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/ponds/msg0711395822942.html?5 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/algae-control/pink.php http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2006/07/blue-green-algae-in-aquariums.html etc.
At the moment, I'm tentatively calling it "Red Slime Cyanobacteria", but the google images search isn't conclusive yet: http://images.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=1&q=Red%20Slime%20Cyanobacteria
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On Mon, 7 Jul 2014 13:38:00 -0400, Robert Green wrote:

It's a pretty "big" animal that can make that type of semicircular swirl, but, we do see it on two different homes' tanks, so, it's caused by something.
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3883/14348123769_63d4a0c232_b.jpg
Both homes would have the same deer, mountain lions, cyotes, fox, bobcats, and, well, nothing else big other than those (e.g., rabbits & quail galore!).
There's no rain out here to speak of (this news article said we had 4 inches of rain in all of 2013): http://www.ibtimes.com/current-california-drought-driest-states-history-scientists-fear-megadroughts-their-way-1548912
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Who knows what comes looking for water in a drought that bad? Buffalo from other states, escaped zoo critters, etc. (-: Either it was scent marking or they were trying to coerce more water out of the tank than the little leakage we saw in the photo. The next step is to sniff or lick the tank to determine if there's scent marking accompanying the rub marks. Eeeeww! (Just kidding - but it does look like some sort of animal marking. Or you have tiny "squeegee elves" that must have escaped from the Magic Kingdom.
I'd be taking my morning walks with some sort of protection. One of my earliest memories is of a trip to Canada with the family. We stopped at a local "petting zoo" where my poor mom was chased around pretty viciously by a goose who apparently took exception to her straw hat. Or her head. We were never sure other than watching him try to peck her on top of her head (and elsewhere). That's when I learned where the term "being goosed" came from.
As if that weren't enough, a camel hocked the biggest loogie I've ever seen right on her. Needless to say, at an early age I developed a profound respect for wildlife and realized my mother had pretty bad luck with animals.

http://www.ibtimes.com/current-california-drought-driest-states-history-scientists-fear-megadroughts-their-way-1548912
A while back my friend tried to get me to move to Phoenix but I just couldn't see moving to a place where if the electricity goes out, Mother Nature tries very hard to cook you. I remember asking him why are there are these highway bridges over huge ditches? Then I visited during the very brief but very respectable rainy season and discovered why.
I hope your drought ends sooner than later. It must be a pretty common occurrence in your area if they make you maintain huge cisterns. That sounds like the voice of bitter experience. Just recently I learned that the water rules are so tough in Colorado, you can't even legally capture the roof run-off from your own home. Sheesh.
--
Bobby G.





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Oren wrote, on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 09:59:47 -0700:

Long story, the wife wanted to save some mosquito fish, so, we put them there, and then I cannibalized the pump for the filtering system ... so ... well ... so .... um ... well ... that's the end of the strategic answer to 'what are you doing with this pond' question.
It's a multi-level structure, which, I guess, I should do *something* with, but I never asked for it in the first place (it came with the house).
What do other people do with these things? How do you filter it without filtering the fish to death anyway?
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:58:55 +0000 (UTC), "DannyD."
Drain it and plant grass seed.
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