Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Pond in Fall

Yesterday morning when I went out to feed the fish I saw this one lonely little water poppy in bloom. There were times this summer I would have more than 10 flowers at 1 time! The pond has been such a joy this summer. Of course it has always been my favorite part of the little backyard, but this year the pond plants were incredible! Almost to the point I wasn't quite sure what to do as I never had to cut back pond plants before.

Now the leaves are turning brown . The one grass on the right is evergreen, but all the other things will eventually die back completely . Hopefully they will return in the spring, but I never know for sure. I know it's getting time to put the garden to bed for the winter, but the hardest thing for me is letting the pond go to have it's winter rest. I leave the red pump going, so I always have the sound of water, but there is no greenery around it--it looks pretty sad.

The new fish have been really happy in their new home and are still very frisky coming up to catch any pellets I might throw to them. But the time for feeding fish is coming to an end for the year as well. Once the water reaches 55 degrees, you are warned to stop feeding your fish. Actually, I think it's all instinct. My fish seem to know it's time and head down to the bottom of the pond to begin their winter hibernation. You can see them, but they barely move. They tell you not to be tempted to feed your fish on a warm January morning because their bodies are in hibernation and could not digest any food, but my fish have never tried to come up and ask for food. They stay on the bottom until one warm day in March I go out and there they are at the top saying "feed me, feed me!"

As the wind begins to blow, and leaves come tumbling down, we have to put a net up and try to keep as many leaves as we can from falling in the pond. This is the part I hate the most, but I need to do this to keep the pond free of debris. We usually do this sometime in November, and depending on the weather and when all the leaves fall, take it down around the end of December or some years it's into January.
So I take one last look at this water poppy, and I reflect on what pleasure this pond my husband so lovingly built 10 years ago has given me. I will keep these memories as I head into the end of the year, looking forward to the warm spring morning I take my coffee pond side and find excited fish announcing "I'm hungry--feed me, feed me!"





"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December."
J.M Barrie

17 comments:

Susie said...

Love this post and that pond Meadowview. I can certainly see why you hate to put it to rest for the winter. I didn't know the fish go into a hibernation for the winter. That's very interesting.

tina said...

You have a really beautifully landscaped pond that fits in perfectly. And tons of colorful fish too. Just my kind. Quite awesome.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Susie. It's hard to "put the pond away" for the winter. But I still can enjoy the water and look forward to fish feeding time in spring! :)

Hi Tina--Thanks for the compliment. I love my pond and fish. I just live out there in the nive weather!
PS--my moonflower seeds are in the beds!

Northern Shade said...

How fortunate you are to be able to keep the pump running year round. The ferns behind the pond and plantings around it are still lush. I like the soothing sound of running water too.
I imagine the first feedings in March are eagerly attended after their winter slow down.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi northernshade! The ferns will be fine until our first freeze--and here in Texas, you never know when that will happen! We can get ice in the winter, but the flow of the water keeps the pond from freezing over. I always worry about the fish when ice forms around the outer parts, but so far they have weathered winter just fine.

Msrobin said...

What a lovely pond you have! And how nice of your husband to build it for you. It sounds like you have just the right climate for it there in Texas. Even though it dies back, no complete freezes to kill off the fish. I use to have a tub water garden, but I had to keep the fish inside all winter. I just can't seem to find a place for it here!

Meadowview Thymes said...

The weather here is perfect for ponds. I heard that in cold weather climates you must have a deep hole in your pond for fish in the winter. It gets a little scary here when it sleets and we get a thick layer of ice! Poor fishes-although I think they have no clue what is going on! :)

tina said...

Good Linda, you are so on it! I am still trying to plant. I will post a pic of the moonflower seedlings in the spring, but they are unmistakable and come up at extended intervals, not all at once.

perennialgardener said...

What a lovely pond you have in your garden Linda. That is something I have always wanted to have in my garden. Winter will be over before you know it and you will be out there feeding the fish again! :)

Nola @ the Alamo said...

I just found you on Blotanical! You pond and surrounding area is beautiful! I didn't know that fish hiberanted.

Cindy, MCOK said...

I wonder if I need to stop feeding my fish, too? Given our temperate climate, I'm not sure what the protocol is! I need to check with the folks at Nelson Water Gardens, I guess.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Tina--please do post pictures! I will watch for them. I put the seeds in 2 different areas!


Racquel-a pond would fit right in with your beautiful garden, and you have so many options on where to put one!

Nola-I don't know if they really call it "hibernation", but to me that's what it is. The fish go down to the bottom of the pond and barely move. It's pretty interesting!

Cindy, I am still feeding my fish and I bet you may even feed longer than me since the Houston area is a bit warmer. The fish seem to know when to stop and head down to the bottom and are not interested in food.

misterreereeder said...

As always, I enjoyed your post. I especially enjoyed the quote at the bottom of your post.

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

I live in Tyler, and I have two goldfish outside. I've always fed them through the winter. Probably wasn't supposed to. But they readily come to the top each morning to eat. I wish my lilies were looking like the plants in your pond. I just have about three or four leaves. I love my little pond, as you do yours. The highlight of the gardens.
Brenda

Lottie said...

I toyed with the idea of a pond this year, but it is lucky I didn't do it. The book I read said you don't have to feed the fish because they manage by themselves. All mine would have died!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I am so glad you posted this. I had no clue what to do with my goldfish over the winter. Now, I know, stop feeding and let them sleep.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks mr--glad you liked the quote!


Brenda--Tyler is so close to Garland, but maybe it's a little warmer. My fish never want to eat in the winter. My pond plants are fading fast. I really miss seeing them in the winter.


Lottie-once a pond is established, you do not have to feed the fish. They eat the algae on the side. I feed mine because I enjoy it. When we travel, I don't worry about someone feeding them.


Debbi--glad this was useful information for you. I am still feeding my fish and will not stop until we get some cold weather. These are young fish, with quite a few fry--I hope they make it over the winter.