Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fish Story

When we lived in Illinois we often visited Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. This is a beautiful place where I developed my love for hostas, mulching and gardening in general. In the Rose Garden they have reflecting pools and one of them was the home of a huge school of koi. We were able to hand feed them (Purina Koi Pellets) and it was so much fun that it engendered a desire in me to one day have such a pool of my own.

Our pond is now supports at least a dozen mature goldfish and twice as many unnamed native fish, and we have been trying to train them to come for dinner by repeatedly feeding them Cheerios at the same time every day, cocktail time. How convenient. We have our lawn chairs set up under the oaks on the one flat spot of the bank and I can make my way to the water's edge to get a good look at the feeding frenzy. Since the end of June the water has been so dark that I can't see any fish at all until I toss out the food. But with the recent rains, the water has started clearing up a bit and I can now see orange shadows under the surface.

The other day I walked along the bank and saw the fish swirling around in their dinner spot WAITING FOR ME.

Now I know it is not affection but food that brings them to the edge, but I don't mind. This is what I wanted to have happen. They are trained! Greedy little mouths gobbling up the Cheerios, letting me see all the different colors and sizes that they are. The older ones are practically RED and then we have the typical very orange and yellow-orange ones and the two or three tones with lots of black on their backs, tails or fins. Their other pond mates are silver and about the same size, and when they are close to a goldie, their bodies reflect the orange color and they flash, glissen and disappear.
At the end of last summer there were only three goldfish remaining from our original Wal-Mart 20 and I hoped that they would last the winter, which happily they did. Then in the late Spring I watched them perform some mating dances and waited to see what would come of that. Of course teeny baby fish are invisible, and I just had to be patient.
Then the water went dark. For. Months.
But this week we have the happy denoument and I am happy to report a big brood of entertaining, colorful, hungry, bug and Cheerios eating trained goldfish. Sigh.

On the knitting front...While visiting my sister and shopping at Hobby Lobby we spied some yarn called Melody.
O my.
Nothing is ever my exact name, and when it is, I gotta have it. Usually it is Melanie or Melissa on those trinket-y displays and I just have to realize that my name isn't all that popular, which I guess is alright. But the combination of yarn and my name pushed me over the edge from never buying anymore yarn to grabbing four skeins. They were on sale. (weak excuse).

I will be warm if it ever gets cold here.

Goes nicely with my pajamas, no?

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  1. I'm curious ... do you only feed your fish Cheerios?

    I ask because we have a large pond consisting mostly of gold fish. There might be 3 or so Koi left. The pond was here when we moved in 8yrs ago. We have always feed them a very expensive Koi Food.

    As soon as the sun hits the pond around 10AM I stand 2 stories up and they rush over to the side. I go down to the pond to feed them and they sound like a bunch of piranha. When it gets cold they head to the bottom for the winter.

  2. Kristen Lindner9:28 AM

    Will you publish a pattern for this neck warmer?? Please???

  3. Hi Melody; The silly koi are waiting for "Other" wonderful gastronomic tidbits from your kitchen. Oddly, I use Cheerios as a snack for my toy poodle so she doesn't get used to "cookies". I think Cheerios was an amazing invention!!

  4. Kristen, please email me and I will send you the directions, which I just made up...

  5. Bravo on training your fish, what a treat! We have a fish/duck pond at the park down the hill from us and when people walk by the ducks and fish seem to watch for someone handing out treats. It is very fun to feed fish and ducks! I once saw someone empty part of a box of captain crunch and the pond just went crazy. Cheap entertainment. =)

  6. Mel, you are such a hoot! You crack me up. Nice neck warmer, and yes, it does go nicely with your pajamas!!

    Kristin F. in SC

    P.S. The MO Botanical Garden has a wonderful Japanese Garden that includes a wooden bridge over part of the lake where you can feed giant koi - they really go wild. You can buy fish food on the bridge to feed them.

  7. Wow, I lived in Hales Corners for a while. Small world!

  8. Very cute Melody-yarn-neck-warmer! And I love that you've trained your fish to come for Cheerios - that's so sweet!

  9. Doesn't everything go well with pajamas?

  10. Love the neck warmer! And I love your fish story. How cold does it have to get before you worry about them? I guess if your pod is large enough not to freeze?

    An artist friend in Orlando has a koi pond and I always loved going over and watching hers. She did a series of large oil paintings of them.

  11. You and your Moebius
    Now I've got to get started on one for ME

  12. My husband grew up in Hales Corners and spent many hours at the gardens. Of course that was high school so it probably wasn't time spent admiring the roses LOL
    Love the moebius, is that made with the new Melody yarn purchase?
    Ah yes, if only it were cold enough to wear I sit perspiring in Florida


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