Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Break Friday - Part One

It's the last day. Saturday and Sunday are in front of me and then it's back to work. Am I dragging my feet? Can you hear them?

Today was good. Mom and I went to the lake again to feed the ducks. This time we went in the morning when it was cooler and we thought the ducks would be more active. No such luck. My independent lady was with us again and there was quite an avian gathering but no one was particularly hungry. We did see something very unexpected though. A bit of background first.

Every winter physical plant drains the lake and cleans it out. It stands more or less empty January through March. Mid-March they generally start filling it again. There are pockets of water, just big puddles really, throughout and evidently this is where life manages to survive. A few weeks ago after the lake started filling again I saw a flash of orange in the water and then nothing. I was baffled. I've never seen anything remotely orange in the lake but today in the far corner and shallowest area a school of orange, white and black KOI were gathered and spawning. I have to tell you, this was beyond amazing. I've been watching this lake for seven years and have never seen a single koi but today I'm seeing every koi in the lake. It was magical.

When we arrived at the lake there were two young boys there, probably brothers. They were walking around in the dry creek, climbing the larger rocks, crawling under others and generally doing what boys do best, explore. And, they made an amazing discovery. Beneath a large flat topped boulder was a pocket of water in an otherwise dry creek bed. Don and Bill, the two groundsmen out at the lake today came over and the rescue was on. Once and then once again, Bill crawled under the boulder with a long-handled leaf skimmer. He dug under the boulder moving rock and debris out of the way and then one at a time, he lifted out two huge white koi. He placed them on the skimmer and then quickly carried them over to the edge of the lake and placed them in the water among the spawning koi. It was really quite a remarkable moment to witness. And the best yet? I got pictures of all of it. Film to be developed tomorrow. When oh WHEN am I going to read that digital camera book?

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