Saturday, May 15, 2004

Natural Selection, Slipping Acres Stylee

We are under siege.

The koi are officially on some things' dinner menu. I've suspected as much for a while. While vacationing in Hawaii last month, 2 beauty Kohaku went MIA. But there was no scene of the crime evidence to help point towards the perp. The usual suspects being, starting with the mundane: neighborhood cats; the oft-accused raccoons and finally, the most stealthy - birds of prey.

I thought it must be raccoons. Now, I should offer my apologies for this false assumption and accusation. Still, I know you coons are to be counted among the hunt-doers. You might not have done it this time, but we'll remain ever vigilant against your night moves.

The past two mornings have confirmed the identity of our terrorist. The koi pond has become a regular morning stop for a big-ass Grey Heron.

Yesterday, the bird feasted on our really purty Hi Utsuri. This pic is (sadly) not of our Hi Utsuri; but ours was equally sexy. He/she will be missed, or, replaced.

Now I have to sort through all sorts of ethical and environmental mental baggage. I definitely don't want to loose any more fish to this beast (he's eaten at least $160 bucks worth of food already!). But I know he's doing what comes naturally. I can't hurt the dude. But I sure want to scare the feathers off him, so he thinks 3 times before coming to this pond.

I bought a plastic heron decoy yesterday. The idea being herons are territorial and will pass on a feeding-spot if another bird is already there. Well, this morning the real heron was standing within 5 feet of my plastic heron. I guess the territorial boundaries are smaller for the plastic sub-species.

I did make quite a racket though this morning and the bird exited, stage left, in a big hurry. Either I was recognized as a terrifying and fearless foe, or as a strange-looking annoyance, which was deemed incompatible with a decent digestive moment of reflection.

Maybe I should dig out the motion-sensor, water spray-heads we bought years ago. It was an attempt at finding a deterrent to birds eating all the tomatoes in our garden. They didn't work then, either.

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