Friday, February 10, 2012

Shooting fish in a barrel

My wee pond in the back yard this fall was full of fish - and frogs. The sound of water tumbling from a tiny waterfall and from the fountain in its middle was delightful to hear.

Then winter came or a sort of winter. But the water froze and I suddenly realized that water was leaking from the pond. The ice was much higher than the water level when I looked one day.

So I had to figure out what to do about the fish and the frogs.

Frozen, cold and pretty miserable looking isn't it?

So my solution? I borrowed back a water trough I had used for my horses years ago, filled it up, and scooped out the fish and the frogs from the pond. It was cold when I did this, but still the water in the pond wasn't frozen. The poor froggies, babies all, crawled away after I put them onto the soft garden soil. I hope they were able to dig themselves in. I'm not sure I got all the frogs, or in fact all the fish. I got all the coloured ones and they went into buckets and were dumped into the trough. But if there were new ones, babies? just have no idea. Does this ice go all the way to the bottom of what used to be a pond I wonder? It's not very deep. On the other hand with the up and down seesaw weather, some days there is lots of water around the edges of the pond... so I just don't know.
And here are the fish - in the barrel. I shot this photo with the tongue in cheek idea of writing this blog.

The white thing with the tube attached that looks like a flying saucer is the bubbler that keeps the water fresh. The yellow thing attached to another wire is my old heater for the water when I used to have horses. It keeps the water from freezing. And as you can imagine, the fish hang about the warmth. Not terribly warm though. Putting my hand in the water it nearly turned blue with cold. But the fish are in a semi-hibernative state and will survive until spring and the re-working of the wee pond. It will need to be dug out and re-lined and gives me things to think about during this long bleak grey winter... not that it's been cold, but it's been grey, brown and windy. I confess to preferring winter that is snowy, bright, sunny and filled with the contrasts of colour that come with what has usually been winter.

In any case, now that it's the middle of February more or less, I will begin focussing on spring. Will I start some veggies in a small indoor greenhouse to be out-planted come April? Will it be warm enough in April to dig the pond deeper? All weighty thoughts to be sure. And I can chuckle at the machinations I devise to get me through this particular winter.

I wonder what you do to get through winter this year? I have one blogger/friend I follow who goes ice fishing in the most miserable weather - the worse the better. He loves the challenge of dealing with the outdoors when it's at it's most wintery. You?

Whatever you do - escape to the sunny south, travel somewhere, play indoor games, cuddle up with books beside the fire - or like my friend head into the teeth of a storm - have a great time doing it!

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