Saturday, June 23, 2007
regular readers will remember the new pond. herself planned for it to be zen. she resisted my boy's suggestion that they get a shark to live in it. himself wanted a water lily. but herself decided it should be wonderful in its simplicity. not long after it was formally opened, herself noticed that the water was beginning to turn green. mrs captain came up with a solution. "what you need is chemicals!" she said and brought round a bag with various noxious-looking chemicals and a floating mushroom to put them in.
the peeps were a little alarmed at the idea of chemicals. they have not used any chemicals of any sort in the garden for 9 years. this has led to an abundance of wildlife, some more welcome than others. there is a grass snake, for example, that swims in the other pond and occasionally eats a frog. herself does not take too kindly to this as the frogs apparently eat the slugs, of which there are a multitude. she came up with an idea about the slugs, which had himself and my boy laughing like drains.
"we are going to adopt a hedgehog!" she announced, "it will eat the slugs. it has to be a disabled hedgehog as hedgehogs are a protected species so the only ones you are allowed to adopt are those which won't survive in the wild."
"will it have a wheelchair?" asked my boy, "how will it catch slugs if it is disabled?"
"we will have to collect them for it," said herself, "hopefully it will catch some for itself. its not as though slugs move very fast."
i have to say i was less keen on the idea of the hedgehog once i had seen on the net what hedgehogs looked like. my hopes of a nice morsel between a couple of slices of brown bread were dashed. i will eat most things, including (in a crisis) lettuce, but not things covered in prickles.
anyway, as usual, i digress. the chemicals got rid of the green water. but a couple of days later herself noticed a lot of little wriggly bugs in the pond. these were mosquito larvae. they were clearly immune to the chemicals. herself is plagued by mosquitoes. they love her.
"we'll have to do something about them!" she squealed, "the place will be swarming with them soon!"
it was decided that the answer was to get some fish. it seems fish eat mosquito larvae. but first the pond had to be cleared of chemicals, which took a few days. by then there were millions of mosquito larvae. himself went out and came back with a plastic bag containing 6 fish. he also snuck in some plants, including a water lily.
"they are called ghost koi" he explained. they were pretty little fellas. in they went. they were not seen again for some time. it seems they are not called ghost koi for nothing. as the mosquito larvae were at the top of the pond and the ghost koi were lurking in the depths, too embarrassed to emerge, the mosquito larvae continued to multiply.
my boy suggested they got a trout. this did not meet with much enthusiasm. himself went out a few days later and came back with more fish. these were ordinary goldfish. thankfully they were braver than the ghost koi and made a start on the mosquito larvae.
at the weekend some friends came to visit. they peered into the pond.
"do you want some fish?" they asked. the fish were hiding. the peeps explained the problem. it seems the friends have a huge number of fish which need a home. they are breeding like, well fish, and are eating newts and things. so about 40 new fish are going to move in. i would imagine eventually there will be standing room only at the bottom of the pond so some of the fish will have to be brave and come to the surface. the only trouble is, if they keep breeding, the peeps will need to dig another pond...