Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They're Swimming!

They're swimming and there's lots of them.

Yesterday I talked about our miraculously big spawning event and today I'm updating you on the babies.

In the aquarium in the house there are hundreds of koi fry (babies). In the larger tub outside, our grandson-in-law counted between 30 and 50 and in the small tub he saw about 10.

Although they're supposed to be stuck to the plants and walls of the abode by the sticky pad on their heads for 3 to 5 days, they're swimming around like crazy. That sticking thing lasted less than 24 hours.

Now the trick is to feed them enough but not too much and to keep as many alive as possible. I'm still in disbelief that this has happened. It's absolutely awesome so far!

Cross your fingers for us. Hopefully we're in it for the long haul.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I Was Starting To Think It Wasn't Going To Happen For Me

We started digging our first water garden in 2001 after a family get together when Beth looked out the patio window and said, let's start your pond. We'd talked about it and procrastinated about it for years and we didn't make a move until Beth moved us. She said, "Let's go lay out the shape with a garden house". After that we never looked back. Our first liner was a tarp we bought at Lowes and it served us well for a long time.

Our first fish were goldfish we got from my sister and a couple of koi that we bought. I was anxious to have baby koi but since we didn't, I blamed the goldfish and declared that they'd all have to go so that our koi could reproduce. But they didn't.

We finally had a nice group of koi but I knew we needed one larger individual to start the reproduction process. We bought about a 20" beauty from a reputable garden center that specialized in water gardens and shortly after we introduced him to our pond, we realized he was really, really sick. He died but not before he infected all the rest of the fish. All of them got sick, and only 3 survived. It was heartbreaking.

So we started restocking. I realized that I'd rather have a few nice quality koi as brood stock than 20 poorer quality. We spent $200 on a gorgeous sanke and $80 on a mate for her who was almost as beautiful as she was. In total we had about 15 very nice koi. Then there was a terrible thunderstorm and our koi pond was between where the lightening struck about 150 yards away and the porch light on the back of our house that it traveled to. My granddaughter took pictures of the heavy rain and you could clearly see the fish swimming about. After the lightening strike, they were all dead.

If I was heartbroken the first time, I was broken the second time. It happened in August and I couldn't even think of restocking. The koi pond became an unsightly mess that we tried to avoid looking at. We didn't protect it over winter and didn't clean it in the Spring. Then our son told us that he and his family were coming to visit and that they were stopping at the Kloubec Koi Farm in Iowa to bring us koi for our pond.

Mr. Right and I went out and started cleaning feverishly and had the old pond presentable before the new koi arrived. That was two years ago. Last year we added a larger koi that we also purchased at Kloubec Koi Farm.

And last Friday night we started seeing signs of a potential spawning event. And Saturday morning at 5:20 I watched the frenzy that was the spawning I'd been dreaming of. Thank God that my granddaughter and her husband were here to help me collect the eggs. (If you don't collect them, the koi promptly eat them.)

We put some in the aquarium and some in two tubs behind the house not far from the koi ponds.

And tonight we have lots of little pairs of eyes dragging around a tail. And we're bursting with pride and joy. If I had anybody to give them to, I'd pass out cigars.

And now, all we have to do is keep them alive.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Capture - Summer

Summer may be the best time of the year but it's not easy to capture the flavor and feeling of it. I would have fared better with a baby in a onesie outside in the summer shade but the baby visiting me this week, Super Baby, is enjoying the air conditioning and watching an educational show on TV right now. So I looked about for the things I love most about summer. Several years ago, when we started taking an interest in landscaping, my goal was to have something blooming all the time. So far, it works! I love to look around and see what's blooming. Today one of the water iris appeared and some of the oriental and tiger lilies on the East side of the house made their appearance. Here are the bloomers that I just referenced:

Then there's the yarrow that I stuck in a pot a couple of years ago. I love the idea of putting perennials in pots. They come back every year and I feel like it's a brand new planter that's really versatile because I can move it wherever it's needed:
And my favorite thing about summer (not counting the magical times when the kids and grandkids visit) is my koi pond. You might be getting tired of looking at it, but I can't talk about summer without talking about my pond. It's definitely my THING!

For some really fabulous summer shots, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry and for the most fun, join in.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Capture - Emotions (Or Do Fish Have Them?)

Last weekend Mr. Right and I worked hard to spring clean and revamp our large koi pond/water garden. This project involved carefully moving all 13 special and much-loved koi to the small pond while we worked on the much needed cleaning and re-working of their larger space. Below you'll see what I perceive as excitement and happiness as they dash about exploring their nice new, CLEAN space:

And then here's what I perceive as curiosity or interest while they try to figure out if that frog is real or not and if it was there before:

And lastly, I think my adorable koi even show evidence of the emotion, greed. Somehow they never think there's going to be enough food for everybody:

So you tell me. Do koi have and show emotion. I think they do but not everybody loves koi like I do.

For more and better emotion pictures or to join in the fun, visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nature At Its Cutest!

Time for my morning toilette.
I just love getting up with the birds and ready for my day!

So refreshing!

May I have a little privacy please!

Now this side

And my underarms.....errr....underwings!

I think I need to get a little more vigorous

I feel so clean and fresh..and pretty!
Now let me at those WORMS!!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Explanations and Conclusion (I Hope)

As you'll remember from here the police officer called us at 5:30 a.m. Monday proudly announcing the results of his exemplary detection work. He said the culprit was arrested, in jail, and the car was impounded.

At about 6:30 a.m. the same day, Mr. Right drove by the address given to us by the officer and observed the damaged red car parked in front of the house.

Then, there were the sightings.

And here's what I suspect was going on. When the police officer and his photographers conducted their investigation in the wee hours of Sunday morning, they took with them the headlight, and the larger pieces of fender and bumper.

Could the lurkers that we kept spotting in around our house have been looking for those large parts? That's what I think. We haven't seen them around since Tuesday afternoon so we're hoping it's case closed.

As for the reports of the police officer, could he have been mistaken or did he lie or to put it more generously, did he exagerate? And WHY did he have to call at 5:30 in the a.m. when he knew we had been up until at least 2 a.m?

So many questions and so few answers but I'm encouraged that no one strange has been hanging around....at least as far as we can see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mail Box, Etc.

Yesterday I posted about our mailbox being hit by an errant driver.

Today I'm following up with some new details and a detail I forgot to include yesterday.

The little path of destruction doesn't show the pieces that the police picked up and took with them. Those pieces include one of the car's headlights, a large piece of red fender, and a piece of the bumper. So the damage was more extensive than I represented.

Further, when I got home from work yesterday, guess what red and damaged car was sitting in front of our driveway. You guessed it. The culprit's car. And when I left for work this morning, guess what red and damaged car was in front of the house. You guessed it again.

Of course when I appeared each time, the red and damaged car disappeared, but it caused me to muse. What the heck is he doing here?

Does this person of a different and somewhat unfamiliar ethnic background somehow blame us for his troubles? Will our flat screen TV be here when we get home tonight? Maybe, he's feeling very contrite and is trying to figure out how to make retribution. Or maybe he's just amazed that this happened and is surveying the damage to try to get his head around it all. I'm confused.

What do you think is going on?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mail Box

I've been away, but I'm happy to say that I'm back.

And I have something to write about.

Last night, Mr. Right stepped outside to smoke but turned right back into the house and said, "It looks like somebody dumped a bunch of garbage in the front yard." And he went out.

Soon he came back in to get his wallet. It seems that the garbage strewn all over the front yard was our mailbox, its splintered post, and a lot of car parts. When he was looking it over, a policeman pulled up and asked if he was the one that called in. Mr. Right said no he hadn't and the policeman said that someone called about an incident in our area.

Anyway, someone had sideswiped the street light pole adjoining our property and then swerved or fishtailed in and took out the mailbox. There were pieces of car at least 25 feet from the point of impact so that guy must have been flying!

At about 1:45 a.m. a second policeman arrived to take pictures. At 2 a.m. I got up, having not slept yet to see where Mr. Right was. He was outside taking pictures of the damages.

At 5:15 a.m. the phone rang and it was the police officer letting us know that they had caught the culprit, put him in jail and impounded the car.

The upshot is that we didn't get any sleep to speak of but we do have a new mailbox that Mr. Right put up just tonight. (And in all honesty we needed a new mailbox.)

It sounds silly but I feel bad for the culprit. I almost feel like the police overreacted. I wonder what causes me to feel that way.

Here's the little path of destruction.

It's really not that bad and I'm glad to get that new box. I just hope the neighbor from a block or two away doesn't blame us for what happened to him.