...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


stocking the pond

Mother nature has stocked our pond
with various frogs, water bugs, dragon flies, and water snakes...
And some cattails, too.  

We've added irises, water lilies and some other greenery around the edges. 

Then I found Turtle, and put her in.
Then Boo found another turtle in the road right by our house.
So we've got Myrtle and Yurtle.

We think Myrtle might have left, but Yurtle is hanging out.
He's a much more chill kind of turtle.  
I love him!
He floats and basks for hours on end. 
He seems very happy here.


So, end of story?
Oh, no.  Not a chance.
You see, I have this problem... 
where I'm always daydreaming about what else we can do.
And I thought, well, we have a pond, 
why not have some fish, right?!

So we talked with some fish folks and 
they told us we could definitely stock our pond with some fish.
Our pond is not big enough (deep enough, cold enough) 
for the types of things most anglers look for - trout and bass.
But it is perfectly good for channel catfish, hybrid bluegills,
and nishikigoi....  (koi!)

First came the channel catfish, bluegills
and some fathead minnows 
(they're food for the other fish...  c'est la vie, it's the food chain, baby!)
We're lucky to have a place like  Fish Haven Farm so close by.
All you have to do is show up with your cooler, and they do the rest.
They bag up the fish you choose, 
give them enough water / oxygen for the ride home and you're all set to go.

We give the lamest names to the creatures sometimes.
Obviously - Myrtle and Yurtle.  
And all of our chickens have pretty wacky names.
And now, the koi.
Above you will see
Orange Cap, Big Daddy, Orange Face, and Whitey.

Then we got another batch of koi and gave up naming them.  
They look way too much alike, and they move too fast in the water.
But every night when we go out to feed them, we try to count and see if we see all 12... 

They're so much fun to watch!
Sometimes we can see them just swimming 
throughout the day when we walk over and take a peak.  
They really add another level of biodiversity and enjoyment to the pond.  

The various fish are bringing in more bird life, that's for sure.
Today I saw a belted kingfisher perching by the pond!
(Maybe he was after some crayfish... or minnows?)

A birder friend warned me that the new fish might catch the eye of some beautiful predators...
Apparently herons really love to eat koi. 

We actually did get a visit from a green heron the other day,
but I think the larger koi are too big for the green heron.
But the smaller koi we got might fit the bill  pun intended!)
Certainly the minnows would.
Or the crayfish that migrated over from the neighbors massive pond.

We shall see.
It's the cycle of life, and I certainly wouldn't complain to get to see some herons at our pond...
but we definitely don't plan on feeding them such expensive dinners!

Even the smallest individual koi is $8.  The next size up is $15.  
There's a whole world of crazy collectible rare koi out there - 
some are thousands and thousands of dollars.

We'll stick with the budget variety, thank you very much.

Oh, and I nearly forgot!:
Besides the fun of watching them, an unexpected benefit of koi
seems to be that the water snakes are not a big fan of co-habitating with them!
Since we got the koi, we rarely see the snakes anymore.

Three cheers for nishikigoi!

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