Thursday, December 20, 2007

A small pond in late autumn

I think I enjoy the pond more at this time of year than any other. By now I’ve gotten used to the lack of lively vegetation and flower interest in the garden. The pond has been tidied up a bit, rank growth trimmed back and the various stuff floating on the water surface either removed or much reduced. With the surface clear, the pond now reflects the sky much better. The water in the pond is a warm brown now; it reminds me of tea. This is the perfect background for goldfish, and this time of year is the peak goldfish viewing season. The fish here are so-called feeder fish, fish sold to be fed alive to other animals. They cost about 12 cents each, and every so often I release a few dozen into the pond. Birds (kingfishers and herons are often seen in the neighborhood, but I’ve never seen either at the pond although on two occasions I did see herons in the garden), cats and raccoons take some, maybe most, of them, and eventually they disappear. Then I add more.
The fish are still active, and the ever changing patterns they produce in the pond are an invitation to relax. On a day with sunshine, no wind and air temperatures above freezing, the benches on either end of the pond are very inviting, and it’s surprising how quickly the time passes when you’re absentmindedly watching the schools of goldfish.

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