Landscaping Chores: Nothing like a little pressure having koi judges and out of town koi friends come over for dinner. This is one of those days that you want the ponds looking good, the weeds pulled, the equipment running — and of course it never does turn out that way. Maybe next year… The pond builder did a really nice job finishing off the decking around the lower pond. It’s just pressure treated wood stained to match the cedar top edge of the lower pond. We made the one side a little wider to accommodate a two seater cafe table. Very nice for morning coffee and koi watching.The back side of the pond has just plain wood boards down but it’s not intended to walk upon. We haven’t decided if the far short end of the pond will also get a wood deck. We might leave it as grass for now. The entrance to the lower pond is not very mysterious yet but in a year or two, the plants will grow and there will be more of a surprise effect when you come up to the pond. I have some more plants to put in but once again we just ran out of time before the weekend. The hillside to upper pond had some tall grass hiding the rabbit damage to many of our evergreens. It turns out that the rabbits were using the tall grass as a hangout place, so I ripped out the grass and planted some new items. It does make the hillside look much neater. Midweek, the pond builder said “doesn’t the water look a little murkier lately?” Well the pond gods know we have guests coming so I’m sure that’s why the UV bulb burnt out. The morning of our dinner, after the koi were taken to the show site, the pond builder began the process of replacing the UV light system. Since our friend did not have a replacement bulb for the light we had, he got a new one which involved a lot of monkeying around. He was finishing up just as our first guests arrived and was planning to turn the waterfall back on. Nothing…he checked and replaced the pump – and so maddening that the system wouldn’t run. He examined the UV system again, and he found glass plates within the tubes that were blocking the flow of water. So all is good, the pond water isn’t as clear as usual but I’m sure our guests didn’t mind. The koi show judges were Jason Guevara from North Carolina and Gerald Ellison from San Diego. Very pleasant and knowledgeable people who really know their koi. Here they are posing with a koi motif decorative surfboard made by my cousin, Bret Marumoto of Bret Boards, North Shore, Hawaii. Fun things to buy at a koi show. You can always order things online but sometimes when it’s right in front of you, you just have to buy it. We bought two new nets (large and small) because you can always use new nets. The large one on the right is a better size for me and the square corners will help the smarter ones from escaping the round net in the lower pond. We bought a new viewing bowl that is very lightweight, easier to handle when you’re bowling the koi in the pond. There were also a number of net bowl caps (like a giant shower cap) which ensures that your bowled koi doesn’t have an unfortunate accident. Koi are pretty good at jumping when they are not supposed to. The pond builder asked why we needed a larger colander bowl. We probably don’t nee it and I’m not really sure what I’m going to use it for but I wanted it anyways. I don’t have a photo of it, but the pond builder purchased another portable tank. We already have two round ones at home. This one is a square version. I’m sure it will be handy for quarantine when we aren’t using one of the round portable tanks or our 150 gallon stock tank… Manda Fu!!! The judges told me this stuff is great to train the koi to eat out of your hands. It’s a little cube that reminds you of styrofoam. Right now I’m just throwing broken pieces into the pond to see if the koi like it. Some of them do, some of them try it and spit it out. It will take a little while but maybe before winter I’ll have a video of koi munching on these things out of my hand. So my busy weekend ended, The pond builder did so much work to make it all look good. The koi are all back and very happy to be home. The ones that attended the show are in the lower pond right now for a little de-stress time in water that has a higher salt percentage (sort of like koi spa time).