The past few days of rain kept me from enjoying the autumn landscape around our backyard pond. Today with the absence of rain we looked out upon our water garden only to discover a stealth creature exiting our pond. As we ran outside to investigate, (of course the creature had disappeared into the wet leaves and gardens) We discovered one large koi, having put up a good fight, not likely to survive and none of the 30 plus, large, medium and small koi (several new baby arrivals this summer) goldfish and shibunkins we so loved and enjoyed this season.
The mink is back! The creature cleaned us out 2 years ago, and we received a pardon from him last year, so of course our confidence level soared as we began to believe this fish fiend had found other places to feed. But our beautiful water garden must have been the site of a grand mink feasting party the past few days! As innumerable curses flowed from my mouth,I examined my pond for life after mink! How dare that creature take away my water garden family! Did he not know my fish loved my daily visits to the pond edge to talk to them and feed? They came right up to my fingers and took the food from me. Many family, friends and their children so enjoyed their presence this past spring and summer. We enjoyed watching the children come alive with smiles and laughter when the fish touched their fingers!
The joys of water gardening are many. Not only is it beautiful to see and hear, it brings forth emotions of great joy, and touching experiences for friends and family. But I must constantly remind myself, that this natural ecosystem is indeed just that, NATURAL! I can balance the water quality and life with specific combinations, formulations of manufactured and natural filtration, wetlands, plants, bacteria and fish. But wildlife is wildlife. The natural cycle of life prevails.
The disappointment I experienced losing my fish family this morning is a source of life’s lessons. Nothing stays the same, Move forward and step up to the next level, challenge with new energy and hope. I will welcome a new fish family next year and hope the ones taken from my pond enjoyed their life with us! We certainly enjoyed having them with us!