The pond builder and I were just talking about how winter was pretty easy this year. Tonight’s weather headline is: Overnight snowstorm to blanket Twin Cities, much of central and southern Minnesota. The forecast calls for 3 to 8 inches in the metro area, with heavier accumulations to the south. As usual the koi are unfazed by the weather. They remain in their garage pool, bored and hungry. We decided to put our bottom drain aerators on a timer so that there are periods of generally calm water. I feel the koi swim around more when the aerators are off. I have been feeding the koi a small handful of food when I think about it. A few of the koi are always looking for food and some of the koi never look for food. I was hoping that a few of the koi would slim down a bit and I have one shiro utsuri who has lost her pot belly. This starvation period allows us to travel more easily since we don’t have to worry too much about water parameters as a result of less waste and we don’t have to fill an auto feeder. Some time next month I will start feeding the koi regularly. The pond builder and I will be heading back to Japan for a little vacation. We plan to see family and the three great gardens of Japan: Kohaku-en, Kenroku-en and Kairaku-en. Spring will be early in Japan this year so I’m hoping for some pleasant wanderings. There are so many beautiful gardens to visit in Japan. We plan on some foodie adventures as well. We’re taking a day trip to Fukuoka to check out food stalls and Hakata style ramen. Of course you can get Hakata style ramen all over, but it’s nice to sample some where it originates. We have built in one day for koi related activities. Kevin Pham, GenkiKoi, has graciously arranged a day guide for us. We will try to visit a few koi farms in the Mihara area. Some day I will get to Niigata (the northern koi area), maybe fall 2021…. Last month I happened to catch a Kevin Pham Facebook live session in progress and saw my Omosako kujaku being unpackaged in San Jose. I have only had three kujakus previously. The pond builder has never been fond of kujaku koi so I’ve sort of ignored them. Not really sure why he didn’t like them. Maybe he thought they were on the unattractive side. In 2015 I had two kujaku tosai, one scaled, one doitsu that we named Jamaica and Jamocha. I believe we kept them for about six months and they moved along. It’s entirely possible that one may have met an untimely demise. I also had a kujaku named Saul that was a Takahiro special. Unlike a normal kujaku, it wan’t very shiny – more matte like. Interesting but this past year I had to move along a number of koi to keep the winter pool population low. Saul didn’t make the cut for keepers. So the only kujaku we own is on its way to Minnesota, some time in April 2020. She was selected in fall of 2018 and spent a year of azukari at Omosako Koi Farm. She has gotten much larger and looks prettier than before. I sent a text to Takahiro Omosako thanking him for taking care of her. I loved the response back – “please enjoy”. It’s really what koi keeping should be – enjoying and appreciating some beautiful creatures. They don’t do tricks on command, they require a lot of special care and things can often go south very quickly. But koi keeping is also something the pond builder and I enjoy doing together. We love geeky koi talk and all the koi fanatics we meet along the way. For me, koi keeping is such a pleasure – I couldn’t imagine not having a pond! https://youtu.be/y7hPYHsFuT4
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