No, this isn't a photo of April 15th, probably more like June or later, but the pond is coming alive with tadpoles and the waterlilies are putting out leaves. Tuffy keeps circling the rocks and can't seem to resist the swamp water that is the pond. Yum, Tuffy Boy!! We've had so many bullfrogs and dragonflies hatch out of this little garden pond and each year there are different things growing around and in it. Often groundcover starts to grow over the liner so you can't see that (how unprofessional of us!) and I'll never forget when we had over 30 goldfish that had grown from tiny little things we bought at Meijer's to big honkers that we had to save from the wicked hole that "happened" to get into the bottom of the pond liner one winter, when all of those goldfish were hunkering down in the hole we used to put the water pump. We were out there with a big hole heated through the ice scooping the fish out with dishpans and pan by pay we'd run them into the garage where the big 30-40 gallon Rubbermaid trash cans awaited their over-wintering or death, whichever came first. There were 2 big cans we kept them in and there were only a few that didn't make it. A couple were floating on their sides and I rescued them and put one of them in a big salad bowl and took him in the house so he would at least have a "good death", sort of like "Goldfish Hospice". Strange thing, the thing rallied around and started swimming around and even eating, so I ended up paying, oh, perhaps $100 for a 10-gallon aquarium and little by little he was introduced to his new home, one he ended up sharing with the next one to start going belly-up, then into the big bowl, then rallying and into the 10-gallon home for quarantined fish. I remember giving them both names, but I don't remember what they were any more. I know they didn't seem to like each other very well. I thought they were miraculous. And the others out in the garage all winter!! I would go out and talk and sing gently to them and promised them that I would do my part to help them get back out there in their very own new pond. Well, that part came to Jeffrey. We tore all the old rocks away and Jeff dug and dug until it was probably more than double the size. We bought a real professional, expensive liner, and redid all the rocks and early, early spring (like around now) we got it ready and out came the big pots and pans to escort the goldfish back outside, only perhaps 3 dying all told. We took them and, whoooooshhh! they went flying into the new pond water and swam around and around like they were in a parade! They'd made it and we were all so happy. Then the 10-gallon "hospice" inside somehow ended up breaking and both fish were lying on the wood! (yes, had to be wood!) flooring so I scooped them up and put them out there. I'm not sure, but I think those two were some of the first to go ... yes, I said "to go" and by that I mean, the menace that I learned to love and make friends with, and bargain with now and then, came rather regularly and even one day I was amazed at watching that Great Blue Heron eerily walking with its tall bent stick stilt legs and staring into the pond water, then, stab, flip, gulp! there went one of my babies!!! Oh, it was too much to bear. I put fishing line around the pond which deterred him for awhile. I put the 80 lb cement goose in its scariest outfit (not the butterfly as in this photo, but I'm not sure what a heron predator is?). I acted like a goofball in this love-hate relationship I had with Heron Baby. S/he was so awesome. S/he'd fly away only to land on the chain link fence and stare at me forever. Then one afternoon I was stuck in the corner up on the sink and counter, painting the corner windows inside, and outside sitting up in the broken pine tree top was the Heron. And we stared at each other endlessly. I was even hoping it would nest there, yet knowing I'd never have another goldfish or bullfrog if that happened. But for well over 2 hours it was me and the Heron. It ended up feasting on all of the goldfish, which is probably just as well since the home's new resident wild cat, Tuffy, would be zoning in on those babies and making me a nervous wreck. It's bad enough when he tries to get the bullfrogs. I love all this nature and that's why it was hard to stay mad at the heron. It was so magnificent. And the goldfish did have an interesting and, hopefully, fairly good life. Better than at Meijer's!
Let's see, oh yeah, I was saying, there's always something about April 15th! Those fucking taxes! Why can't some Great Blue Heron come swoop down and feast on all those returns some poor suckers are still working on (afterall, it's only 10:40 pm here in Michigan!) and maybe our Fearless Leader could send us all Giant Storks filled with yen-turned-dollars in their beaks and shower them all down on us! Why can't that happen, eh? I gotta tell ya, we just mailed ours today, even though they were done ages ago (the 9th) hee hee!
OK, this is enough of all this! Come on, April 16th!!!!