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New Pond Looking NorthWest

New Pond Looking NorthWest

Happy Birthday Barb! Today Peggy and I went to mass at Saint Anthony’s. The mass was said for you. You would have been seventy years old today, and officially older than me. Remember when I’d joke about it, and tell the kids that you were older than me?  Remember when I used this three week period to refer to you as the “Old Battle Axe?”  Now that I think about it, it wasn’t very funny, was it?  I miss our birthdays together so much. Because we were born in the best part of the year, it made for some really fun celebrations. The celebrations are no more. They exist only in my mind.

After mass, we drove to Pets Mart to pick up some fish food. The goldies in the pond are beginning to respond to being fed. We bought two koi. Immediately, they became Peggy and Joe. We don’t know what sex they are, probably never will either. We’ll know if they are a pair if the pond over populates with little koi.

We came home, and I placed the plastic bag into the stream to equalize in temperature. I left it there for an hour. As I did this, the flash appeared again. This time I saw the landing. It is a frog. Freddie has been verified. Peggy was distraught to learn that there was a fish eating frog in the pond. She asked me to net him and put him back in the swamp. I gave her a lecture on nature and the importance of predators to keep balance. She ain’t buying it. This is going to be an interesting summer.

When I let Peggy and Joe out of the bag, the current of the stream carried them into the big pool. Immediately they got lost in the school of goldies. The koi are three inches long while the goldies are six. Eventually, they will grow larger than the goldies. They will be obvious because they are 80% white with a touch of gold and black too.

The pond and the fish have become a mjor source of enjoyment for us. I often sit at the table and watch the action in the yard. Fish jumping, birds flying in to feeders, the squirrels jumping on the patio furniture, and the rabbit eating my precious tender plants. Occasionally, the yard becomes totally empty, not a bird or squirrel in sight, then it appears, the hawk. He observes the yard from a perch high in a cottonwood tree. When he leaves, frustrated, the action begins all over again.

A few evenings ago, I was riding my bike home from a meeting in town. As I approached the bridge crossing the wetland (swamp), a red tail fox crossed the road in front of me. Another natural predator has joined the eco-system. I love it!

Fish “Fry”

The pond in June 2008

The pond in June 2008

One of the goals for the garden is to create a pond that is totally natural. An eco-system that is completely self supporting. Well this morning I had another “Fuzzy Moment.”  I was planting some new water lillies that I got from my friend Kay. To plant them, I first placed a piece of root stock into a perforated pot in soil, then I covered the soil with stones.  I layed an extension ladder on the ground across the pond, and layed a board over the rungs. With this set up I could walk across the pond over the ladder. Instead, I chose to lay on the board and lower the new water plants to the bottom. This was the first time I lay over the top of this pond. As I peered into the water, hundreds of very tiny transparent fish swam beneath me. Wow! I have babies. The eco-system is working.

Peg has noticed that the larger fish are very hungry lately. They are becoming less shy, and will break water to grab a food pellet when she tosses them in. Most likely it is because they are now in competition with the babies for the larva that  had satisfied them before.

The simplest things in life amuse, and bring me joy. The sight of baby fish was exciting, and brought me a great feeling of satisfaction. Nature is at its best. Things are working.

The next milestone will be the arrival of the frogs.

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