|Great Blue Heron (Source)|
As many long time readers know, there is a pond at Chez Sarge. It once was home to many fish, both large and small. Of the koi and goldfish clans they were.
Then one fall we noticed large aquatic waterfowl in the area, of the heron and egret variety, not unusual for a coastal town with lots of water and salt marshes about. We also noticed that we were missing some fish!
So, in accordance with advice from our local fish pond experts, we purchased netting which was spread over the pond in the fall and stayed until spring. The experts assumed that it was the migratory birds flying about which had spotted our pond and assumed that it was a "fast food" emporium. No need to hunt, just stop in and grab and go.
The net worked, no losses of fish.
Then last year some strange malady killed all of the koi. Every. Last. One.
Didn't impact the goldfish at all, just the koi. We lost many a fish which had graced the pond from it's beginnings.
Goldie. A whale of a fish, a good 12 inches long!
Jumper. So named for his tendency to leap out of the holding tank onto the lawn while we were doing spring cleaning in the main pond.
Spaz. So named for the panic which always ensued for no apparent reason. Normally she was fine, every now and then she would freak out and dash for cover. Panicking all of the other fish as well.
Leo. So named for his leopard-like speckled coloring.
They all died. That really sucked.
Then this last Friday afternoon I went out to feed the goldfish. There were none to be seen except for one lone fish who was hiding under the pump intake. He immediately dashed into the weeds upon my approach.
'Twas then that I noted that breakfast was still floating around, unconsumed. Odd that.
I searched but could see no fish, no fish at all.
There I was, Saturday morning, out to dump some recycling when this great bloody feathered dinosaur lifted off from where it had been standing in the yard. Next to my bloody pond!
It's the wrong time of year, says I. Apparently that effing heron needs to buy a calendar.
All the fish, save one, are gone. Fish we've had for over five years.
|All gone except that little orange one near the top left.|
(Yes, I'm rather pissed about it.)
Time to break out the nets again.
The Missus Herself says it would be a bad idea to set up an anti-heron radar and missile system in the backyard.
"Not even a few anti-heron guns?"
"Not a one."
Four more survivors were found Saturday evening! There are five left, and I had to chase that feathered dinosaur off two more times yesterday. The neighbor's dog Hercules provided a very loud assist.
*Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed
"In Memoriam A.H.H." - Alfred, Lord Tennyson Canto 56