September 8, 2009

Fishy Freedom

Earlier this summer I had a dock built on my 70 foot-ish pond.
Laying on the dock looking down into the water became an exercise in futility, nothing to see.
I thought to get some Koi, my pocketbook thought otherwise.
I got twenty bucks worth of gold fish, 8 for a dollar.
We constructed a pen attached to the dock and released the 160 fish into it.
When I started to think about time to let them go, I began feeding them at a plastic floating circle and rang a cow bell at each feeding.
Two days ago we let our beauties go, most are six inches long and about 3/4 of an inch wide.
Guess what? When I ring the cowbell they come back to the feeding ring!

I didn't think I'd ever see them again except maybe at feeding time, but they really show up well, little schools of them snaking their way from here to there, little clusters of them lurking under leaves and in grasses around the pond.

I wish you all well little companions, thank you for being a colorful and fascinating part of my summer of 2009.

Tuesday Thankies:
Calves safely born
Autumn Mists
Working Furnace

PS: I've been asked how they will fare through the winter. The goldfish idea came from a friend who was a Washington state fish hatchery manager for many years. I asked him the same question. He said feed until the water temperature gets down to 42 degrees. At that temperature they 'go to ground' in the mud at the bottom and sort of hibernate I guess. He said don't be tempted to feed, just let them sleep and look forward to spring. So now you all know as much as I do.

2nd question, yes that 'gold' fish is greenish, there were also some greyish, blackish, and creamish. This morning when I rang the bell I think every nose was there, they'd been hiding under the dock. This evening only about 40 came to the bell, I could see other swirling and swishing groups further out, too busy running free to bother with free fish chips. Their food is like flamingo shrimp, formulated to make their color bright. We'll see how pale they are come spring ;)