Monday, August 27, 2012

Feeding time in the pond

Many of my family and friends know that I'm somewhat obsessed with the little pond that I've constructed in the back yard. If I'm not counting frogs, working at ridding the water of algae, I'm watching and feeding fish, or just standing at its edge not thinking much about anything except the miracle of Nature.

So the other day I thought I'd take a video of the fish in my pond as they rush around either grabbing food or expecting some. When I walk by they get all excited and rise to near where I usually feed them - Pavolv's dogs? Perhaps.

I guess that any creature gets used to and expects routine. Certainly my dogs let me know when it's breakfast time, walk time, next walk time, treat time (that's actually all the time whenever I get up from the computer or come downstairs, or just move around outside or inside - silly creatures - ever optimistic. They get treats rarely.) But all the creatures including wild birds, the caring chipmunk, frogs and "pets" seem to have knowledge of routine.

These particular fish started out as tiny inch and a half long "feeder fish" originally intended for other fish that eat little fish - for people who keep pirhanna for example and need live food.

The gal who sold them to me, gave me seven of what she figured were the prettiest since they were going to be in a pond. They were all different - orange and white, patterned individually. Next spring I had seven three and four inch fish and lo and behold by fall - 15 fish - eight new members of the school. They spent the winter in a horse trough in the drive shed - the plastic liner having sprung a serious leak.

My sons helped me reconstruct the pond with a neoprene liner, and made it deeper and wider.

Good thing too - when I returned the 15 to the pond they "got busy!"

Then one of my sons brought me four large fish that a friend could no longer manage in a small aquarium. Nineteen. Suddenly there were even more - four tiny minnows began to appear in late June - and it seemed like there were black shadows racing past when the food was on the surface. These kinds of goldfish or carp, are black when they hatch until they get to a certain size.

Who knows how many there really are in the pond... it's impossible to count - they're never all in one place at one time, and if by some chance they are, it's for a brief milli-second. So however many there are, they are very lucky fish. Herons don't predate the pond - there are too many trees around, two cats and two dogs, who would chase them away. The cats watch, but don't try to catch them. The dogs think my time spent cleaning the pond is a waste - it's not involving them. The raccoons may try but have been unsuccessful as far as I can tell.

And me? I get laughter, meditation time and a lot of pleasure from watching them. I still count frogs - who seem to be plentiful as well. What an interesting "hobby" it's turned out to be. Who knew my idea of having a pond in my back yard to fill in a messy hole would turn out to be such a great project? Do you have ideas you've helped come into fruition? Fun isn't it?
The sun sets after a lovely day - watching fish, frogs and others of Nature's creatures

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