8 April 2012

Something Traumatic Has Happened


Something traumatic has happened to the pond ... but I don’t know what.

Earlier this week I noticed the 9 fish weren’t swimming about as they have been since spring arrived. They are an energetic crowd, pacing the whole length of the pond, and always near the surface, but now I can’t see them. During the winter they did disappear from sight, presumably lying on the bottom, a natural response to cold. It has turned a little cold lately, but not as low as winter temperatures.

And now look at the level of the water ... it has sunk to a shallowness reached once last summer during a run of dry days.

What has happened? No fish + suspected puncture in pond lining.

I am hoping the fish are still there, and are hiding after a nasty trauma.

That cat who comes to sit by the pond could be the culprit. As I’ve said before (here) she isn’t frightened to put her paw in the water. But would a cat eat 9 fish and leave no trace around the edge? Cats tend to hook them out, play with them, and perhaps try a few tentative bites, but not eat them whole. The other piece of evidence against the cat is as the cause of the event is that the fish were not that worried about her looming face. When fish food floated on the surface the cat and the fish have eaten it together at the same time, with the fish giving little darting runs at it. But then again maybe they finally run out of luck and got caught.

pondOf course the next most obvious criminal is a heron. Herons are rare visitors, but there is a park nearby and the river Mersey isn’t too far away. (As an aside ... as the number of cormorants increase inland perhaps domestic garden ponds will become more attractive. What a sight that would be.) Is it likely that the water loss is due to a heron stabbing through the pond lining?

The alternative is that there is no reason to worry. It has simply been cold and dry, and the pond system will return to normal in its own time.

I’m visiting my mum and dad tomorrow. Dad is my pond guru. I’ll ask him.