Monday, September 22, 2008

Reidski's fish pond

When Reidski moved into his flat about 18 months ago the garden resembled a jungle and we were quite surprised to find there was a pond hidden away amongst the undergrowth. We worked to clear the garden and the pond was now visible but the water in it was so filthy it was impossible to see if anything lived within it. After a few months however we realised there were a couple of fish somehow surviving against all odds and at that point we actually started feeding them. We also started a slow process of topping up with clearer water. This policy resulted earlier this year in a further surprise as we found out there were not two fish but three. We (or to be more honest – me as I was rather obsessed with these fish) kept on about what tough fish they were to have survived all this time in this filthy and neglected pond. The last but one time I was down at his place the fish were clearly visible and it was lovely watching them.

I was with Reidski last week. I went out to see the fish. I could only see one fish but wasn’t too worried as given that they had been invisible for so long before, I had no doubt they were in there somewhere. The week went on though, and still I could only see one fish at any one time.

It was when Reidski’s neighbour happened to mention he had seen a heron sitting on the fence studying the pond that I was forced to acknowledge the truth. Not only could we see the fish due to our work on the pond improvements – so could the heron.

I am really rather sad about this :-(


Karen said...

Oh no! My grandma had the same problem. She has now got rid of the pond but I am not entirely sure why.

Jay said...

Oh, how sad ... but we live and learn. We built an above-ground pond very close to the house to discourage the herons (we live on the edge of the village and there are plenty of dykes around here, so plenty of herons). It's over two feet high, with three sides that are higher, and herons like to land at the edge and wade into a pond, so that helps - also we've strung wire along the front (low) part just above the surface of the water.

If you string taut wire all around the edge of your pond, a few inches in from the edge, it will allow wildlife to drink, but discourage the herons from wading in and taking your fish. Not foolproof, but it helps.

Reidski said...

I don't go for the sad approach to this one. While I would much rather have three fish rather than the one remaining fish, I believe it is simply nature at work. So, don't mourn, organise (and buy me some new fish and wire for my birth anniversary next month)!

Oh .... and thank you so much for your leadership skills on the gardening front!

J.J said...

Karen - I guess herons will do what herons must do.

Jay - thanks for that. I will try and do as you suggest - hopefully in time to save the surviving fish. (And we must indeed live quite close to each other - a coffee would be nice!)

Reidski - goldfish and a bouquet of wire for your birthday it shall be! (And only skilled on the gardening front in as much as I can recognise a weed when I see one.)