We have a little garden fish pond, with a great many fish in it.  Several dozen at last count, your standard run of the mill goldfish, none of which are gold….  Some are blue, some harlequin, many are born purple/black and slowly turn red, and some slowly turn white.  Anyway, fish.  Fish utterly, totally reliant on us.*  The pond is about six feet long and three plus feet deep and has a recirculating pump and waterfall. It has neither a natural inlet nor outlet, aside from seasonally boggy ground.  In the winter, we remove the filter, put a heater in, bury the line, and let it keep running.  We don’t always check it every day in the winter.

By sheer good fortune, it was checked on yesterday.  The fish were down to a little huddled puddle in the bottom, the pond was for all intents and purposes nearly dry.  After some hasty work with the hose, attention turned to the likely culprit: the waterfall.  It would appear that one of the stones got shifted, probably in this fast freeze/thaw cycle we’ve been having.  Almost certainly, the ice built very quickly two nights ago when the temperature dropped.  The combination of a shifted stone and ice build up redirected the water out of the pond.  This has happened once before, but not quite so dramatically.  I suspect, when it warms up enough that fiddling about in water is no longer agony, we will contemplate changing the rocks a bit.

The fish appear to have survived.


*I have always been really bothered by the ‘what if man suddenly disappeared’ scenarios (there was a TV series on that awhile back, a badly researched one).  Not, I confess, because of the people.  But because of all the animals that would be doomed to rather nasty ends.