surface deep:: black and white # 2

spawning
spawning

All eyes on the pond for a look at the forecast:: hmm, cloudy.  Though if you shift a little and look past the mirror there’s a whole world underneath that’s elusive and slippery, like the fish spawning so deceptively still in their love making huddle . .. . until you try catching one and then, ah *then*, there in lies the rub. Sometimes it takes attention to nuance and inflection to see past the shallows, where the threads of algae drift about.  Pond pond, what hold you there, are those fingers or are they your hair?  Tis glass.

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images take shape

dancing below the water

above illusion wanes

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emergence
emergence

 

how now! it’s warm yet the pond seems frozen

the ice must be layers deep

the snow has melted, gone on its way

why then is the ice still asleep?

 

the ice must be layers deep

lo! it cracks at the touch of a stick

why then is the ice still asleep?

what lies at the heart of the matter?

 

lo! it cracks at the touch of a stick

there’s something clotted and cold here stuck

what lies at the heart of the matter?

let’s dig through the leaves, the mud, and muck

 

there’s something clotted and cold here stuck

two frogs in the pipe have made their house

let’s dig through the leaves, the mud, and muck

the water flows freely once more

 

two frogs in the pipe have made their house

the snow has melted, gone on its way

the water flows freely once more

how now! it’s warm yet the pond seems frozen

 

Woodland Gnome invited me to join this photo challenge, her 2nd day can be enjoyed here. Be sure to take a look around her site when you visit, it holds treasures in unexpected ways and places.

I am inviting Narami of de monte y mar to join the black and white photo challenge today. She is in Puerto Rico and I sometimes participate in her Tuesdays of Texture, which is fun.  I hope she will join the challenge!

The rules are simple:

  1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
  2. Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

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A clean pond . . .

gathering of the tribe
gathering of the tribe

 

Two spring equinoxes ago we had a green algae profusion multiplying across the pond, which had taken on a fluorescent neon glow all over.  The algae was thick at the bottom and had made its way to the top, where it was spreading.

We think it had this growth burst for a few reasons, one being that we had siphoned water to our garden the previous summer and that had lowered the water level considerably.  This made the shallows shallower and being in full sun perhaps warmed to optimal algae temperatures.  Being shallower the aquatic creatures moved away to where conditions were more to their liking, which would have made the shallows stagnant .  ..  good breeding grounds for the algae to take over.  The resident ducks had been dinner for a wandering fox that winter, which had been a particularly long one where the pond had remained covered in a thick layer of ice from December till early April  . …  trapping all the goo, poo, gases, etcetera  beneath the ice in 55 degree water.

Whatever the reasons, the pond ecology was obviously out of whack, disturbed, uncalibrated, etcetera, so after some learning we chose to add koi and catfish to the pond as a re-equilbriating, clean up team, the reasons being these:

the catfish would muck up the bottom of the pond, disturbing the algae points of origin

the koi  would eat the overabundant algae as a food source . . . . this was guesswork based on the koi being carp family, and carp are supposedly algae eaters but being unavailable in Virginia we substituted with koi

We introduced 6 koi about 6″ long and a dozen catfish into the pond and the algae has vanished to the visible eye!!  The catfish we haven’t seen since we put them in, but the koi have bred and there are dozens and dozens of them.  They like to gather under the branches of an enormous autumn olive bush by the banks, out of sight of the blue herons that fly around looking for a meal.  The wood ducks that liked that spot have moved under the bush further down.  And the branches of the bush all around the koi gathering are covered with clusters of eggs . . . . are they koi eggs or frog eggs?  We’ll have to wait and see, though every now and then we spot a newt feeding on them!

 

frogs or fishies??
frogs or fishies??

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fresh catch!

woke up this morning and found a headless, legless henny by the rain barrel . . . . presumably a raccoon dunned her in, and obviously she missed the nightly coop lock up.  so we took her down the mountain for a burial and en route stopped for a call to nature by the river.  inspired by the water, rocks, and sparkles, i thought, “let’s go  fishing today”.  the kids were thrilled.  so after lunch we set off . . . .

. . . .  up the mountain to a general store that has a trout stocked pond and fishing supplies; a good starting point.  bought a rod, bobber, weights, hooks, and mealy worms.  christy, the cowgirl with honey hair that falls like a sheet, a thick sheet of satin, down past her butt, showed us how to set all these up and then pointed us to the pond. across the road we went with rod and bucket.  and try as we did to swing the line out like christy, we just got tangles.  so we moved to a new spot and the kids said, “mum you figure this out while we go talk with christy and mr. canton”, and ran off before i could blink!

there i was, trying to figure this fishing thing out, when canton came around with the kids and gave us a lesson :0)  he showed us how to throw the line, reel it in to keep it slightly taut, watch for a bite on the bobber, hook the fish, and bring it in to shore, where he broke its neck from inside its mouth.  then i took a turn and whoot whoot, i caught one too and golly, it was pulling the line away from me as fast as i could reel it in!!  the kids were all jumping and yelling and finally i got it banked.  then it jumped around and slid while i tried to break its neck.  i got it done, but it took a bit of doing!  canton left us after this and we all took turns fishing.

it’s not as easy as it looks, but once a fish bites and it’s on the hook, wow, you just know its there.  tenderfoot and little man each caught one, eyes big and round with excitement.  when we were done, canton showed us how to clean one, and we brought the rest home where i finished up with tenderfoot.  she was adamant to clean one herself, the whole thing mum, so she did.  now they’re in the oven, stuffed with fresh oregano, mint, garlic, lemon juice, and dried coconut, broiling for supper : 0)

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