Thursday, June 5, 2008
The Backyard Pond
In 1998 my husband and I went on our first pond tour. I was fascinated. The thought of having a pond (with fish!) in the backyard thrilled me. After 8 months of wishing and planning, wonderful husband built me a pond! He designed it, dug it, leveled it, hauled rocks in my now planter wheelbarrow to put around it--and lo and behold the perfect pond for our little backyard! I added plants and goldfish and over the years it has developed into the focal point of our yard. We decided to use a red pump instead of a waterfall--something different and something that reminded us of our favorite campsite in Colorado. I love the sound of the water, and I love feeding the fish. Because of the trees in the back, the pond was mostly in the shade. Taking down one of the trees this past winter opened up the yard and gave the pond more light. The plants have never looked better. However, a problem occurred that we never had to deal with before. When we returned from the graduation in Lubbock I noticed one of my pond plants had fallen over. Well, there has been lots of wind I thought. As I put the plant back in place, I felt an unusual quietness with the pond--and then it hit me. All the fish were gone! I knew Herons had been flying over, and I thought I needed to do something maybe since the pond was in plain sight, but I didn't do it soon enough. I sat down and cried. I lost my little friends that greeted me every morning with "feed me, feed me." I felt like I had let them down--had not protected them. My husband got on the Internet the next morning and ordered a fake Blue Heron. Sometimes you can fool the birds--thought we would give it a try.
So meet Harold the Heron. His job is to protect. I bought new fish this weekend. The baby fish have settled in and are nibbling on food I throw to them. I actually discovered 2 of my original fish had gotten away and were hiding behind a plant. They remained behind the plant until the babies swam their way. Now it's a big game of chase.
I really miss my original fish--I had them 9 years! We started with 7, ended up with 13, then lost all but 2. Life is full of disappointments, but we move on. I will enjoy and take care of the new little ones...and the next time we go out of town, the pond will be netted!