It’s the beginning of April, 2013, and spring has definitely arrived. All of the plants surrounding the pond are starting to bloom and in a few days there will be more riotous color than there is now.
The pond seems to be in “balance” right now and one can see the pond shelf that borders the perimeter of the pond underwater. An abundance of fish is there for our viewing pleasure as well. My husband counts 18 fish. I, not being as diligent, can count maybe 14 fish. No matter, at this time, they are all healthy, voracious eaters and have just started spawning. This morning we observed a pod of them chasing a white Koi that my husband had named “Big Al.” I suppose the more appropriate name, given the activity we saw, would be “Big Alice.” I doubt that we will suddenly be overrun with baby fish. The eggs will be eaten almost as soon as they are spotted as we are not set up to breed baby fish.
Other creatures are in mating mode as well – the birds, the butterflies and the dragon flies. We are not happy about the return of our dragon flies. For you see, they lay their eggs which hatch into nymphs. These nymphs are voracious little suckers and last year, they happily attached themselves to the smallest of our fish and killed them. These nymphs are about an inch long and dark in color. We find some, but not all, in the filter net of our pond.
We have not had to worry about predators like raccoons but our greatest foe is a resident heron. The folks in our area all live on one acre, horse properties. A heron has nested on a property several houses away from ours. He often comes over to visit by sitting on our roof which is a wonderful perch for him as he can see everything in the pond. We’ve installed a heron decoy and move it from time to time as instructed. Does it work? We don’t know yet. If we see fish carcasses lining the pond perimeter we’ll know that the decoy didn’t work.
With our cool, 60 degree nights and mornings in the 70’s, there is nothing better than sitting on our back patio, listening to the sounds of our waterfalls, viewing all of the vibrant color and watching our fish madly darting after one another. This is undoubtedly the best time of year not just for humans but for the fish as well.