Spring Thaw 2019

It’s finally feeling like spring and we’ve been able to do a few things outdoors. Spring tree pruning was on my calendar and the pond digger tidied up some of the lower branches of our birches. I unwrapped some of the evergreens and moved snow off of the branches.

The lovely weather marks an annual event – opening up the pond with a pick axe, drill, sledge hammer, et al. The pond ice is pretty thick and easily supports us:

me on ice

So here is the pond before the pond builder goes to work…
making me a little nervous…
The first hole is opened up to drop a pump in…

The pond builder commented that he thinks with the warmer weather later this week, he might be able to restart the waterfall.

Indoors, my koi are still on their hunger strike. The water is 57 degrees and they look hungry but eschew any food thrown to them. A few weeks with no food will be fine. Maybe they’re still mad that I swept up their algae. It’s already growing back so I’m sure if they’re really hungry they can nosh on the free food.

Meanwhile, I have been doing a lot of studying over the weekend in preparation for my first time at a koi show as a student judge. I have talked to my mentor judge, the head judge sent out a very informative letter and I have been preparing references to take with me. iBooks is great to store many PDFs and I made a 175 page look book from photos of winning koi from Nichirin magazine (the ZNA koi magazine). These are all koi that have won best in size, best in variety and major awards in various Japanese shows. What I like is that just looking at the groups of photos, most of the judging points are pretty apparent. It also validates that for every “rule” there are always koi that are judged a champion even when they don’t follow the “rule”. Except conformation – poorly shaped koi just do not cut it.

my 175 page look book PDF

I like hard copy so I created a reference notebook for this show with pages of things I have digitally but might want to take notes about. Photos, glossary, information collated from a variety of sources, show regulations and more. I have this idea that I will create a book for each show that I judge and perhaps as I get better, I will have a thinner reference. I have included material about topics that I have difficulty remembering – like black koi. I don’t own any black koi, I don’t really like black koi and the names are not really obvious for me to remember. I am sure there will be a few black koi in this show (and actually I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t…) – and I really do not want to be searching for identification. It’s like a mental block for me when it comes to the kuroi koi πŸ˜‚.

It will be exciting to go to Orlando for the 2019 Central Florida Koi and Goldfish Show. Huge event, many vendors and a lot of quality koi. Learning how to judge a koi show is pretty tough. You really don’t want to make mistakes and the koi keepers are showing some treasured possessions. They may not name their koi like I do, but they all love their koi. Next weekend… ι ‘εΌ΅γ‚ŠγΎγ™! (ganbarimasu – I’ll try hard!)