Time to Blog, Again..

5000 Gallon Pond with the waterfall urn behind the center urn.

I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front for several different reasons but mostly out of my own laziness. I could use the Texas heat, Covid-19, Social distancing, Computer problems and a whole list of other things as an excuse. The truth is, I’m just going through a lazy and non writing stage for no particular reason including those that I just listed.

I have been busy with several other projects demanding my attention. As I wrote in my earlier blog, I am still waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the new RV to come in but there is at least a whole month before that will happen. So, without the extra wheels to take me to pastures new, I am compelled to stay home and continue on with what for me, has become the norm. Actually, the timing is pretty good as my neighbor that watches the ponds when I am away is away herself with her husband on a trip to Colorado so it’s my turn to watch her two kitties.

As my earlier blogs show, we are all getting our exercise whether Mikey or I want it or not. In fact, if we had any say in the matter, we probably would stay home. Maybe I need to teach the little girl how to walk herself. Now there’s a thought…

Mikey and Sandy

With the weather as hot as it is, the forecast for today is for it to reach 105 F. There is not much appreciable difference between 95, 100 or 105. It’s still bloody hot by anyone’s standards. Add to that the heat from the blacktop and the lack of a breeze and you are talking plain discomfort. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to work out in that heat anymore. Well, I say that but yesterday, one of the pumps quit working in the 5000 gallon pond. It is the one that provides the water to the standing urn in the middle and the waterfall urn at the end of the pond. I was very worried that this added to the lack of moving water allowing the Texas sun to heat the pond up even more than it is. Moving water and lots of shade are what helps to keep the pond water cooler. I also have an aerator that is working full time at this time of the year plus two other waterfalls to keep the water moving. Altogether, there are 3 pumps that are moving the water in this pond. Both of the big ponds need trimming back but I will wait until it gets cooler so as not to detract from the shade provided by the overgrown plants.

Luckily, I had another pump on hand. This one pulls 3600 gallons per hour so was big enough for the task. As with most projects, this one did not go very smoothly. The pumps were different so I was not able to do a straight swap but had to mess around changing out pipe fittings in order to hook it up and needless to say, did not have the right fittings, out of the multitude that I have accumulated over the years, to complete the work. This meant another trip to Bee Caves, a small community that has both a Home Depot and a Lowes and is only 5 miles from my house. I had been in the same shopping Center no more than an hour previously purchasing a new computer from the Best Buy located in the same lot. I now found myself retracing my footsteps to buy the plastic fitting that I needed. Talk about frustrating. When I got back, things worked very smoothly and it wasn’t long before the urn and the waterfall were both working again and better than before as this pump is a little bigger and pushing more water. As soon as I was finished, I beat a hasty retreat indoors to the central AC to cool down until later when the little girl will make us all walk again.

This morning, on our usual rounds of feeding and inspection, we came across one of the big and very dead Koi in the 5000 gallon pond which I pulled out and tossed over the fence for the critters to feed on. This one was a golden color, about 2 feet long and probably weighed in around 15 or so pounds. Coincidence? Who knows but I had noticed that one of the golden Koi had been jumping which they sometimes do if the have parasites or some other irritating injury so in all probability, there were other reasons for the death. This is one of the downsides to this hobby. It is hard to tell if a fish is sick or under the weather and even if it is, there is not an awful lot to be done. There is a fish doctor but unless the fish is valuable, it is hardly worth the expense to save it. My fish are valuable to me but we have found over the years, that it is almost impossible to sell them. Our Austin Pond Society Rescue Team gives away all of the fish they acquire.

Some of the baby Koi from this year’s breeding. The big fish in the picture is probably about 12 inches long.

This year, we had a bumper batch of baby Koi all in the 5000 gallon pond. There must be between 30-40 of the little fish who by now are almost 6 inches long. In all of the years of pond keeping, I have never seen as many baby Koi as there are in this pond. Interestingly enough, in the 6000 gallon pond, they only spawned 3-4 new baby Koi. I wonder what the difference is that caused that?

This is one of the Wonders of Nature, one is born and another dies. And so it goes on…

Written 8/29/2020

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