Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
It’s been raining at my house for a few days preventing me from going out to play and any work around the ponds has to be done with a raincoat on and even after the rain has stopped everything has turned to slop and being outside is just not fun as the dripping trees continue to run I’ve spent time indoors sitting around not wasting it as I have found that time on the website that I maintain is put to good use as I make it the same as I picture exactly what I want it to be and then write the code so that others can see the pictures and words of upcoming things they can see for themselves my offerings in an attempt to show them what is in store including the fabulous Austin Pond Tour with fifteen ponds spread over two days all different kinds and so many ways to make a back yard a beautiful thing so that others can see and their praises will sing not knowing the time and the effort it takes to turn it into a beautiful place the rain has stopped and I venture outside to look at my ponds that Nature does hide from view as I sit writing these words with growth so thick that even the birds have trouble in finding the seeds that I spread as I welcome their presence and they’re not underfed birds of all colors some big and some small jostling to get to their share of it all the yard I have is a beautiful place everything so green filling a space in between the ponds of which there are four filled with Goldfish and Koi and plants galore with pathways between leading around and around until back at the start you can be found ready to do it over again to see what you missed as its never the same to maintain the ponds is a lot of work which in the past I did not shirk but as I now am eighty three the work is catching up with me and I’m no longer sure for how long I can last as I do not work like in the past and things are much harder than before as old age is knocking at my door and with it the loss of strength that I had especially when I was a much younger lad and what I will need to do is close down the ponds before I am through and still have the strength to perform this task just a few more years is all I ask as I live out my remaining days just me and the dogs very set in our ways.
I was making my rounds after being away for several hours and as I usually do, was feeding the fish. This is a good way to see if there had been any visits from the Heron while I was away as the fish go deep and won’t come back up for several days. Well, this is exactly what happened in the goldfish pond as the fish were nowhere to be seen.
I went back inside and sat down at the computer with the memory card from the surveillance system and started going through it. I knew that I was looking on cameras 1 and 3 as they focused on the goldfish pond. The thing to remember here is that the maximum length of each video is not much more than two minutes and not knowing when this might have happened, I had to start from just after I left the house which was about 1:00 pm. It was not until I reached videos taken around 4:00 pm did I get to see the Heron. He strolled up to the pond as he normally did and jumped the fence and spent a lot of time trying to fish from the wall that divides the goldfish pond from the Koi pond. He soon got tired of that and before my eyes, it jumped into the water. I had always believed that they would walk into the water and not literally jump into it. I don’t know how it knew how deep it was as it is a little cloudy and I can’t see the bottom. That Heron must have x-Ray vision as it didn’t seem to have any trouble.
It fished around for a bit but it is not possible to tell if it caught anything as it spent time behind the Thalia plant out of sight. I should explain that both the Goldfish and Koi ponds have wire fences around them that are powered by a doggy shocker that gives quite a jolt. I know as I am always running into it as I work around the ponds. There is also an intricate system of crisscrossed wires that span the top of the Goldfish pond with the exception of one small triangle that the Heron used to fly away. At least I thought it had flown away but as I was looking at other videos, it suddenly appeared in one trying to land on top of a fish fountain in the Koi pond. Giving up on this idea, it landed on the bog area and started to look for the fish. The big Koi spotted it and moved away but one of the 4 smaller ones got too close and became dinner. What is interesting as it stood there waiting so patiently is that the big Koi moved back in directly beneath it but it made no move to attack them, probably because they are so big.
It eventually flew off as it probably heard the dogs barking indoors as I arrived home. All told, the Heron was around the ponds from 4:00 pm through 6:00 pm a total of two hours but I have edited the video down to fifteen minutes. It is very interesting to watch as it shows how patient these big birds are and also just how much on the look out they are for their own safety. They are very nervous when they are on the ground or standing in the water.
After watching the videos, I went back to the ponds and added cross-wiring to the Koi pond plus eliminated the triangle on the Goldfish pond. I also noticed that the unit for the doggie shocker was not working so I changed it out for a new one. Hopefully, this will deter it but I thought that before. This is really a game of wits between me and the Heron and so far, the Heron is winning.
And I thought that us humans were the smart ones….
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