Spring will open its doors on the 21st of the month which means that Spring cleaning both inside and out is essential. The first place we usually begin with is the pond. It has spluttered and gurgled all over the Winter period as the fountain has pushed up the water through the ice, snow, wind and rain. The fish do not exactly hibernate but do spend a great deal of their time apparently dozing motionless or slowly swirling about swimming in an hypnotic daze that could sway a cobra into a trance.
All of the plants have to be removed and rinsed well to dispatch them of the blanket weed which slowly smothers them during the Winter months. Their shapes are hidden like barnacle covered shipwrecks by late Winter and although the fish will eat the blanket weed - they much prefer to lunch on the oxygenating varieties of plants that float about on their skyline. This is also the time when the bottom of the pond needs to be checked and decomposing leaves removed. It’s also a perfect time to make sure that the fish all look healthy …
This is when we first realised that -
one of our fish is missing! It is the beautiful, fat, large headed goldfish that we called ‘Muffin’. There is no sign of him … not even a bone!
We keep a net over the pond to protect the fish and this was left firmly in place all over the Autumn and Winter months … but something has apparently managed to get under the mesh and take away this lovely fish. We are still left wondering whether or not it was a heron.