Thursday, 21 October 2010

Oi! Where Are the Goldfish?

Just a few months ago we dug out a small pond in our garden (being not long out of hospital Old Pa Hurley popped by to give a more than welcome hand).

After a short while it looked good. Stones were cemented around the sides, the lilies we put in were growing and spreading, and (as they say in France) the piece of resistance (or something like that) we put in six goldfish, three we already had in a tank and three new tiddlers.

Over the months the goldfish grew in size. I and other family members enjoyed feeding the fish and seeing them darting about as we fed the chickens or pottered in the garden.

Then, last Monday (we'd been out most of Sunday) I noticed the pond was quite low and the fish were nowhere to be seen. Some days they did hide (perhaps a cat had been a bit nosey) but this was weird. By Tuesday we had to concur that 'some of our goldfish are missing.' Well, all of them actually.

We wondered what had happened. Given the drop in water I wondered if a fox (which are in the area) had got in at night and splashed about and eaten the fish.

I was overlooking the obvious.

By Wednesday, Mrs H. ("the missus") said what it was! Of course, why hadn't we thought of that before?

Then today she had it confirmed, when looking up the garden she saw, stood bold as brass in the pond, a huge heron!

She said it looked positively prehistoric standing there in our little pond.

So that is where our goldfish went! A handy stopover snack for a heron!

Now we need to find out when is the best time to re-stock the pond, and how best to protect our little tiddlers from the attention of an errant heron.

Having watched our tadpoles grow into frogs and swim out of the pond earlier in the year, and all the pleasure our goldfish gave us (before becoming a la carte for a heron), I certainly have enjoyed having the pond this year.

I would prefer not to cover the pond with a mesh as I think it would spoil the look of it, but it really depends on whether or not we can find some alternative that works!

Any tips gratefully received!

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