5/19/14

RIP Goldie!

We've been busy doing stuff around the house. In fact, my hubby thought I had some sort of Dengue Fever except that I haven't been out of the country in years, because I actually washed the windows of the house, two stories, inside and out.

*I can see outside again! You don't realize how dirty windows can get until you actually clean them! ;-) *

Talk about out of character . .  .

But I did enjoy watching hubby sod Zoysia in the bare areas of the yard, and clip (an Old English Sheepdog, so there's a LOT of hair) and wash the dog this weekend.

But in other news we had a Great Blue Heron catastrophe.

We're over the flight path that the herons tend to fly as they make their way to the wetlands about a mile from our house. Except the wetlands haven't been very wet due to the 2+ year drought, which means the heron are looking for alternate food sources.

Backyard ponds are perfect fodder for them. They are small and relatively shallow. My MIL had one heron eat five of her seven goldfish within minutes. The two survivors were smart. They hid behind the pump.

Over the last few years we haven't had a heron problem because our fish are very, very large.


All our fish are koi with the exception of Goldie. Yes, Goldie is a goldfish. A fish who came to us with two brothers that have since found themselves in the great pond in the sky. Goldie lived in our pond for at least 10 years. He was very old, very slow, blind and hung out on the top of the water.

In other words, a tempting food source for a heron.

Last Tuesday, after I dropped the kidlet off at school, I came home and puttered around the swimming pool. I didn't notice Goldie in the grass about ten feet away from the pool until I went to empty the skimmers into a bucket we have for that purpose.

Goldie was so far away from the pond he couldn't have jumped out. No telling how long he had been out of the water, so I thought he was dead and went to get a Ziploc bag--a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Though Goldie was a goldfish, he was similar to Dr. Seuss's fish in Fish Out of Water. From tip to tail, Goldie was 16 inches long. He was also smaller than the smallest koi we have, which should give you an idea how big those suckers are!

I don't think the heron realized how big Goldie was until he got him out of the water!

Heron eat fish whole, and Goldie was simply too much for him.

When I picked him up, he gasped. So I put him in the water.

And he lay on the pond bottom The koi poked at him, but he didn't do much.

Fifteen minutes later, I scooped him out intent upon putting him in the baggie and then the freezer until trash day.

Goldie mouth and gills were moving when I pulled him out. So I plopped him back into the pond.  The dark spot on the top of his head was where I think the heron jabbed him before pulling him out of the water. Scales were missing from his sides, probably due to the heron's beak.

Over the next four days, we thought he'd died numerous times, found him in the pond skimmer at least four times, and he went from swimming to simply lodging himself against the rock on the bottom of the pond. Every time we thought he died, he would swim away.

Finally, age and trauma caught up with him and Goldie died.

RIP Goldie

After the attack on Goldie, we bought a fake heron. Yeah, it's ugly, but it's supposed to keep other very territorial heron away.

Because my hubby wants to buy three new koi, about five inches long.

In other words, perfect heron food.

Later, Peeps!

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