Monday, May 12, 2014

Well, the bog is slowly coming back together. I have planted cannas and ginger and lizard's tail, and mint and black-stemmed taro in pots. (black-stemmed is not as invasive, but still gonna keep it in a pot!) There are a few cannas and other plants in pots waiting their turn to be washed free of dirt and planted. I have had to build up rock walls around the stems to keep the wind from tipping them over, sometimes several times. If I keep that after they are well rooted, it will make for a bog of hills and valleys. That might be interesting. I saw a few tiny tadpoles in the bog, as well as the pond. Since the water doesn’t flow evenly over all surfaces back into the pond, I worry a little that they might get swept into a dry area and die. I may experiment and put some mosquito fish up there after I finish planting. There would be deeper holes and a shallow plain for them.

The red leaved canna does seem the most hardy, as that is almost all of the ones that survived. I have a very few others, but only one of the striped leaf that has the red and yellow flowers I so like, and a few green leafed ones. The ginger did pretty well. I have one tightly matted mass in a low plastic container that has holes all around the side that I have not managed to remove. I did soak and wash it carefully to remove as much dirt as possible, and then set it down into the rocks. I read that they do well rootbound. We’ll see.
The fish are ravenous this time of year, with the water warm but not hot, and spring in the air. Last year I had dozens of baby goldfish, although I have never seen baby koi. There were 6 or 8 baby shubunkins, which I was very happy about since they are favorites of mine. There is only one left. Three I found in the pre-filter, the rest have just disappeared. The rest are comets and comet crosses. A few have the deeper red of the one or two sarasa goldfish I had, and most are a mix of white and orange. The colors keep changing, though. There were a great many with black, and that has been fading away first, fairly typical of comets. Now the red patterns are shrinking so that I cannot tell them apart from week to week. I have a half dozen or so bronzy-black ones, quite vigorous and ranging from deep olive green to one that is almost black. All are hard to see, reverting to the wild coloration. However, there are one or two visible in this picture, on the left of the cinder blocks, along with a larger black koi.

You can see the approximate size of the fish by the cinder blocks stacked there as a plant stand, for a now defunct plant. Defunct after I got it off the bottom, anyway. Many of the bigger gold ones are large goldfish I have had for many years. I feed them and do a roll call, because if I can tell it apart from the others, it has a name.

The pond as a whole is clear, except when I am netting muck out of the deep end. Soon the water will be warm enough to get in and swim around with the fishes, collecting the empty pots and remaining water lilies that are on the bottom from the times the raccoons dumped everything off their supports. I am planning to tie pots down this summer so they can’t make such a mess without really trying hard. Meanwhile, it is clear to the bottom and I can watch the fish as long as I want. Or will let myself, between all that has to be done. Still, progress.

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