When I moved to my farm seven years ago, one of the first things I did was stock my pond with koi. Maybe ‘stock’ is not the right word. I carefully selected a dozen koi, and paid good money by the way, to have the honor of offering these enchanting fish a home in my pond.
This is not unlike buying young royalty. Ask Japanese buyers who have paid anywhere from $60,000 to $2,000,000 for the most prized of royal koi.
Sheesh! Mine are tramps compared to such distinguished royals.
Still, I delight in my koi. They glide around the pond as if they own it. They behave like teenagers cruising the strip. They are beauty pageant contestants of all colors and sizes. They are zenned out in a watery bliss.
I love to toss food out and watch as they slowly glide to the surface with their huge fish-lips sucking each individual morsel down the hatch. Guuul-lup. A minute later another…guuul-lup.
They are slow. They are deliberate. And they are lovely. Sadly, I haven’t one left from the original bunch.
Bad things happen. Like great blue herons, kingfishers, raccoons and snakes. I have even wondered about snapping turtles, after I met one in the pond.
Yesterday started off horribly on the farm. First thing in the morning, I found two koi dead and half-eaten. It appeared to be wasteful carnage. But I am not Mother Nature. There were only chomps in the bellies, with heads and bodies still intact.
Losing one is misery. Losing two equals devastation. Especially since these two went way back.
On the bright side…we are anticipating and watching for, the ‘coming out’ of the new guys.
About a month ago, Recluse Man and I visited the Mountain City, TN high school, where they have an FFA program that includes a greenhouse full of fish tanks. The students are in an aquatic program that in addition to the koi, includes raising tilapia for local restaurants, and growing aquatic plants.
That’s where we get our koi each year. And it always seems they disappear for awhile as soon as we release them. It might take a year before the new kids join the bad boys cruising the strip.
We bought four new koi this year (for $175!) and we wish them well. Like…really well!
Recluse Man and I have both had sightings. We’re not talkin’ Elvis. Oh No. We’re talkin’ Koi-Boys.
Here are some photos from our recent visit to the aquatic center at the Mountain City High School. It’s mesmerizing and tough to decide who to pick…and I got dizzy photographing them in wavy reflections and wanted them all……until…Baby?…who’s buying??We consulted first, then told the teacher who we wanted…class begins!Fish Rodeo!!!We want THAT ONE!!What a great program for the students. Here they are in front of a tilapia tank gone wild…And here is Recluse Man back home before he releases our new lovelies…BEST WISHES TO OUR NEW FISHES!!!