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 ;)


ooglebloops said...

Goldfish are very smart - my 2 indoor ones, Oogle and Bloop, see me coming and are ready to jump out of the tank for food. The bettas, come up for food when I tap on the glass. Next year, a pond.........

Linda B said...

You do everything with such panache! I also bought goldfish for my fountain pond. I bought 8, two died. The other six have doubled in size. My cat Leroy loves looking at them, but they know enough to go deep when he is lurking. It's really fun. Don't worry, your fish will be Koi in no time.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

How cool is that? What fun to see them respond to the bell. Enjoy them.

Lady Farmer said...

Your fish are so beautiful! I love that green one (or is it just my monitor?)! What will happen to them in the winter when the pond freezes? I have heard that they freeze along with the water and are just fine when they thaw! Sounds pretty harsh but what do I know! Will you have to feed them all year round? Having them in a pond sounds like fun! And aren't they smart to come to the 'dinner bell'!

SandyQuilts said...

We too have a pond, smaller than your but a nice size. It was here when we moved in 8yrs ago. They go crazy at feeding time.

Piecefulafternoon said...

What a neat experience.

Bizarre Quilter said...

wow! They look fabulous! And seem to be as easy to train as Pavlov's Dogs!! Don't goldfish lose their colour if they are not exposed to light?