First blog post, thanks for bringing me into your world of ponding Tom. I spent a few days in Ottawa last week, and working with Tom, Holly and Jessie on the pond was one of the highlights. The other highlight was also fish related, and that was the sushi gorging that went down at the Banc and later at the Sushi Kan. I'm becoming a bit of an expert on both ponding and eating fish. Maybe we can combine them some day and harvest sushi grade fish... not sure how the Petsmart girl would take that. I've probably eaten 75 lbs. of sushi over the past 7 months. No joke, it's kind of gross when I think about it. The Kan is definitely the lowest grade sushi, but it's also as cheap as comets. Jessie and I treat ourselves to sushi every now and then as a reward for dealing with the grossness of grad res. Finally though, we're out of that shithole. The sushi servers in Kingston know me, and the sushi chefs look at each other with fear in their eyes when they see me come through the door at Asha. The owners don't even say hello anymore. I can eat what 2-3 average people eat easily. I probably have so much mercury in my system.
I though I'd give some information on the origin of the fishes that Tom has welcomed into his pond habitat.
Originally from Switzerland, the Carassius auratus, commonly known as goldfish, were introduced to the United States in 1962 by Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin. They come in many variations, including Original (plain), Baby, Xplosive Pizza, Racing Ranch, and Cheese Trio (cheddar, zesty cheddar, and parmesan).
The PetSmart on Innes Rd. was sold out of these popular variations. However, they had a full house of Comets, both Baby and non-Baby variety. The Comet does not originate from Switzerland, as they are descendents of the Prussian Carp from Asia. Because of Asia's rock bottom labour costs, Comets are born for 1/4 the price of those from Switzerland. The payoff for the North American goldfish consumer: decent quality comets that can be bought by the bagful for a mere blue spot.
Here's some info from wikipedia on goldfish:
"Goldfish are popular pond fish, since they are small, inexpensive, colourful, and very hardy. In an outdoor pond or water garden, they may even survive if brief periods of ice form on the surface, as long as there is enough oxygen remaining in the water and the pond does not freeze solid."
Clearly, wikipedia cannot be trusted, as this information is bullshit. If this info is true, the cryos are either an aquatic miracle or the 1/2 ft of water in the pond didn't freeze over the winter. In any case, it is possible for goldfish to handle a Canadian winter and emerge as strong leaders for the hord of comets we introduced last week. I thin k the cryos buried themselves in the mud and leaves. Man, I'd love a picture of them frozen in time. Maybe Tom and I can create a new study on ideal cryo conditions. We could divide the pond in half, cleaning one section completely and leaving dirt and leaves in the other half. We could see how/where the cryos go once the water freezes. Obviously, wikipedia's contributors and the scientific community would benefit from our research.
More to come shortly on a special type of goldfish variation that we introduced to the pond. I'll also do a bio on this guy and, with Tom's help, provide a status update on his latest exploits/whereabouts.