We have been planning for a few weeks now to bring the last two koi south to the farm. Natsumi (the shiro utsuri, black and white) never travels well. She’s my oldest koi and I thought relaxing in a familiar pond for the summer would be best. We left a companion koi for her, Sangiovese, a budo goromo. These two koi have moped around since the bulk of the koi left in July. They don’t seem interested in eating and refuse the pellets even when dropped wherever they happen to be in the pond. So unlike Natsumi who has always been first to eat and very friendly. The sulking koi have lost a great deal of weight – kind of like a hunger strike. It’s kind of shocking to see how thin Natsumi became.
We packed them up on a Friday and drove them south, stopping a few hours in a hotel when we were tired of driving. We opened Natsumi’s cooler about 26 hours after she was packed and had a little panic moment. She clearly looked stressed and was upside down in the box. Instantly we’re thinking it’s a 50-50 chance she’s dead. We threw her into the water, let go and she started swimming. The koi in the pool all rushed over to her and swam around her for about 20 minutes. Maybe they all missed her too. Only a few were interested in the budo goromo (probably because it’s a male koi 😂).
Natsumi showed some interest in food by that evening. Over the last two weeks, she has started to regain some of her weight and she is back to being the first one in the chow line. She pushes her way to the food first and I have seen her coming out of the water by the auto-feeder dispensing nozzle. She certainly has all of the other koi feeding a little more aggressively. Then again, it’s fall in the south, and one of my koi friends say it’s one of the best feeding times.
European Hornet problem resolved. This was certainly an unpleasant problem. As we chopped down privets, we would notice a lot of European Hornets. I would regularly look around at the tree tops wondering where their nest was. Imagine my surprise/dismay seeing hornets flying into a corner of my roof and I suddenly remembered that it was near an area of open storage. The exterminator estimated the nest was about 500 hornets. Obviously busy since the end of winter. The pond builder will need to seal that little hole and we’ll be laying down powder every year to discourage any flying insect nests. One website noted they hate the smell of peppermint so I might also create some essential oil spray and douse the area.
We have been clearing a lot of privets at the entrance of our smallest pasture. Last year we could see the remains of an old barn but it was pretty much hidden from view all behind undergrowth. Pond builder and his trusty chainsaw cleared out a lot of privets. We used the tractor to pull out some roots and haul fallen trees out of the woods. (It’s amazing how many fallen trees are in our woods.) Finally we have cleared out the area around the old barn. There is a date scratched into the barn floor – “1916 R”. This might be a nice place to put a picnic table. We have more fruit trees being planted in this area and maybe I’ll move the blackberries over to this pasture.
Another weekend on the farm is done and we are exhausted as usual. We’re getting better at taking breaks but it’s hard to stop when there is so much to do. The next two weekends I will be having some fun away from the farm, judging koi shows! And perhaps the next time I write, we might be working on the new pond…