Thursday, May 25, 2006

Spring pond pics and new friends

I gave in and let my husband add a few koi to our pond last week. I'd been adamant about not wanting koi because I'd read that they'll tear up and root around in all of the pond plants. Yet, he convinced me to give it a go and so we did. I picked out a nicely-colored gold and yellow koi who has been hiding under the waterfall since we brought them home. This white butterfly koi in the photo, on the other hand, is a show-stealer! It swims on the surface showing off its lovely long fins and stealing your attention from the less fancy fish. Another of the koi seems to be slightly off-kilter or crazed; it swims along the bottom of the pond and twists itself against the creases in the liner and occasionaly jumps out of the water!

I mentioned earlier in the week that the locust trees are blooming. They've now started dropping petals everywhere; mostly in the pond, it seems. The effect is pretty, even if it does require a daily skimming with the net. Last year around Memorial Day I had lilies blooming, but this year it will be later because I only just replaced the plants that died over the winter. The plant at right is Parrot's Feather, which the new fish seem to enjoy munching on. I bought a small plant to provide some cover for the fish, knowing that it will grow and spread by mid-summer. It's an interesting plant in that the feathery foliage closes up late in the day.

We've also attracted another frog to the pond. At least I think this is a different one than the one we found when we did our spring clean-up. This one seems a bit smaller and greener than the last one. Late in the afternoon I find him peeping at me from between the rocks under the hosta plants and mint that line one side of the pond. I'm not sure what he's finding to eat. I hope his presence isn't the explanation for a few fish that have vanished in the last few weeks. Very seldom do I find a fish floating; they just disappear. Last summer we had *issues* with a very large bullfrog eating our goldfish. I never would have believed his mouth big enough until one afternoon when my husband called me to the pond to see him with the fins of my husband's favorite blue ryunkin hanging out of his mouth! We were able to remove the fish from his mouth (ahem!) and relocated the bullfrog to the farm pond around the corner. That poor fish was never the same again, and I found him floating a few weeks later. Anyway, I enjoy this guy's company and hope he will behave himself here.

9 comments:

Endment said...

This is lovely... The fish are beautiful and I really appreciate your comments about your pond. We have a small lily pond on the deck and a large pond project in the back (which I suspect wont be even close to completion this year:) We are ready to put in a pond at the entrance to the house and I am gathering all the ideas and information I can find... thanks much.

Michelle Lewis said...

Your white koi is beautiful :) I love the metallic scales. The behavior you describe of the one fish - skimming the the bottom and jumping out of the water - it's called flashing and I too have a few aspiring dolphins LOL. Sometimes flashing can be a sign of illness, mostly I think they are just playing. Koi are bottom feeders, so until they get used to you, the shy ones may very well hide. They will make mince meat of that parrot's feather in no time though! Mine love it. It's not even in a pot anymore because they kept pulling it out.

Had to fight off that heron again this a.m. I must look the fool out there waving around and spraying the hose!!

LauraHinNJ said...

Endment: Glad you're enjoying my pond ramblings. I had fun taking these pics - the new digital is so cool!

Michelle: I haven't had any heron problems(crossing fingers), but do have a kingfisher that perches nearby sometimes - he worries me - when I hear that *rattle* call they give! My fish are too tiny for a heron - I hope! I can just *see* you waving your arms like a madwoman! Hey - whatever works. ;-)

jemkagily said...

Laura and Michelle-

Some of my friends who have ponds say that by putting a heron statue next to their ponds they've been able to keep real herons from scarfing up all their fish. Don't know if this would work but worth a try. Many of the gardening catalogues seem to carry a faux heron. I don't have a pond of my own, that's why I enjoy your photos and stories so much; but if I did I imagine I'd stock it with feeder goldfish because I like herons and kingfishers better than fish!

LauraHinNJ said...

Jemkagily: Thanks for stopping by! Glad you like the pics and such. I too love birds and would be quite happy to welcome a heron. One does get sort of attached to the fishies, though.

Cindy said...

what a beautiful pond and fish! I have a friend in TX that raises Koi, but I'd have to bring them in every winter, since my pond heater only keeps a tiny space open for wildlife. Too cool, love the photos Laura :)

Jimmy said...

Just beautiful...sounds like you have a great pond.

TDharma said...

the koi shots are dreamy and so lovely! Simply beautiful. More, more!

Mary Ann said...

Glad you decided to take a chance on the Koi. They do seem to develop "personalities" that make them fun to watch. I have sometimes established water plants in botomless plastic containers that protect the base of the plants from the Koi 'til they get well rooted.