Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Moving Our Fish

When we moved to our present home in Muskoka the backyard was like an empty artist's canvas. The previous owner had two young daughters and there was a sandbox in the center of the backyard. The structure had a roof and corner posts which didn't look all that stable. So upon tearing down the structure I got to thinking that spot would be perfect for a pond.

My hubby had already turned over the earth for several perennial beds as I'd brought some plants with me from our previous apartment. We were fortunate there to have had a small garden so I dug up some plants from it. Our new backyard was empty of plants so I could design away. Well, my gardening plans usually run to buy what I like and find a spot for it.

Hubby went along with the pond idea and he started digging. He said he could get his hands on a black barrel which he proceeded to cut in half lengthwise. Sunk into the soil, it became our first pond. I arranged all the rocks around it and started planting. After several years we felt we needed to have a larger pond so bought a ready made plastic one from our nearby Home Depot Store. One fine summer day dear hubby and his son dug up the space for the new pond insert.

This meant I had to rearrange all the rocks and rethink my planting. Actually the planting and rethinking is ongoing as all gardeners know. We have had some adventures with the pond, some great, some not so great. We have had wonderful resident frogs that have put on some great shows for us, especially the one dear frog attracted romantically to a plastic frog I bought..alas, the romance waned when Mr. Frog found out his mate wasn't real..

On the sadder side of things a beautiful Blue Heron decided to clean out our pond one day while I was away and I think even breakfasted on my dear resident frogs..We replaced all our goldfish and Koi but were not so lucky with the frogs. We get one or two now but we had more in summers past and enjoyed them so much.

We hope very much to have a similar sized pond in the front yard of our property in P.E.I. where I can keep an eye on it when around. I hope to take down some rocks from here as there is so much beauty in our Muskoka rock. Transporting the fish will be somewhat of a challenge if they survive this summer and proceeding summers from the Blue Heron.

We thought it such a lark when it appeared one hot summer's day on the neighbor's roof. Then later in the afternoon we ran to grab camera's as it landed on hubby's workshop roof. Then the penny dropped and Jim realized it was after our fish. We ran a rope around some posts hoping he would fear getting tangled up in it, but alas he was smarter than us.

We heard that same summer Blue Herons cleaned out a lot of ponds in a neighboring town, went right down the block, having lunch at each one..and I know P.E.I. has more Blue Herons than we do here. Therefore something will have to be done to protect our fish, or we will be making a lot of trips to the Pet Store.

I know about the term Survival of the Fittest but if I get my hands on a Blue Heron trying to snack on my "fish family" he may be lacking a few tail feathers. Do they even have tail feathers?


  1. Lannie, you gave me a laugh. "plans are buy what I like and then find a spot for it". That's me to a tee! This spring I'm spending a lot of time finding spots for plants that I purchased last year without any thought of where to put them. I think the key to keeping the herons (and coons which we also have) out of your pond is making them deep and giving the fish a hiding spot. So I guess a larger deeper pond will be added to your property!

  2. Hi Marguerite: Wish I was a better designer but fact is I love too many plants and have actually had to be much more selective as I promised myself last year NOT to dig up another perennial bed..I'm about at capacity for my daily work load..I will have to really watch myself in P.E.I. as I'll have acres and acres to play with..I did draw up a design with a gazebo this week and flower beds surrounding it, each bed different, a pink one, one blue and one red..and I plan on an all white garden..look wonderful when the moon is out..thanks for idea about deeper pond and we do have a long tile in ours here and big flat rocks so fish can hide..if they "think" of it..:) wish it would warm Lannie