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Thread: Goodbye Autumn

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Unhappy Goodbye Autumn

    I lost Autumn, the ochiba I loved so much, to a heron 4 days ago.

    How that bird choked down 14" of FAT koi is beyond me, but gobble her up it did. I cried and cried picking up the few pearly belly scales left of her, as if somehow I could put her back together from the scant remains. She had been the Queen of the Pond and was loved by everyone that met her. (I think a koi is the only animal that can spit water on you and you'd be charmed to death! *smile*)

    She was 8" when I got her in February--that's about an inch a month of growth--and she only got prettier in the new pond under the dappled sun. The ginrin of her crown beget a meandering of silver-blue stars down her spine, turning to gold atop her tail tube. Her blues, violets and golds intensified in color, and every scale had a perfect pearly luster. Her indigo netting was perfection. Her body filled out into a powerful structure and to me, she was beauty personified. Devastated is hardly strong enough of a word to describe losing her. I really REALLY loved that koi.

    I know you all know what it's like to lose favorites in your collections. I'm not looking for pity here, I just want you all that have lost beloved koi know that I have joined your ranks and know exactly how you felt when it happened to you.

    Marie----->who has been MIA for a while
    Marie

    http://www.koi-bito.com/forum/koi-gr...wout-form.html

    "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and
    paints his own nature into his pictures."
    --Henry Ward Beecher

  2. #2
    Tategoi KoiCCAPW's Avatar
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    So Sad

    I'm so sorry, Marie.
    I remember the pictures you posted of her. She was very pretty. I know you miss her a lot.
    I understand, as I lost a beautiful yamabuki to a raccoon.
    You will feel better some day, but you will always remember Autumn.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Thank you, Barb. You're right, I'll never forget Autumn. I remember when you posted that icon pic of the heron on your roof scoping out your pond. Bad BAD bird! I'm not waiting for the greenhouse to go over the pond now. It's covered in the most godawful ugly way now, just so that big blue monster can't get the rest of my koi. What I can't understand is why the thing went for the biggest fish in the biggest deepest pond when a whole small pond of a gazillion sarrassas he could wade through with ease wasn't his first snack. I wouldn't have missed them near as much.

    Marie

  4. #4
    Tategoi
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    Sorry you lost a healthy and much loved pet to the heron.

    I often think we are fooled into believing Herons are graceful and majectic and almost delicate birds based on their stalking and prey techniques. The impression may be accurate but the nature of a heron is really one of a high level predator. They are very agressive birds that can put an eagle to shame when it comes to outbursts of violence! I think of them as winged velociraptors! Here is a shot of two males fighting from National Geographics wall paper series.

    Please take to heart the idea that once they have fed, they will keep returning.
    JR
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Goodbye Autumn-herons.jpg  

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Wow! What a pic! They're HUGE birds--and the one here is no exception. I'd seen it hunting the irrigation ditch here in the early mornings, about 400 ft down my drive along the pasture. I never considered it would be gutsy enough to come into my 'oasis' around the house. My pond is situated right next to my home in a ring of monstrous sized weeping willow trees, and it gets direct sunlight from about noon to 5pm. It's clear of branches overhead, but it's not easy to see from the ground around it and it would take quite a steep swoop down and up to take a koi hawkwise (I never considered a heron walking in). So I didn't worry too much that the greenhouse over the pond was taking more time than I wanted to get constructed, even though skimming leaves multiple times a day was/is a real chore. What happened, I think, is that when the irrigation water was rerouted temporarily to water someone's field and the ditch was empty, the bird must have followed the sound of my shower filter. What really torqued me off is that I have a german shepherd kenneled betwixt and between the irrigation ditch and the pond. He never made a sound! You'd THINK a 4' tall weird-arse looking thing like a heron strolling up would be something he'd notice and bark at. He barks at everything else.

    Thanks for the exciting pic, JR. I've got it on my desktop now...

    Marie

  6. #6
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Aw, Marie . . .

    I'm so sorry to hear that bad news.

    We've felt that sting, too, and wish you well in protecting your herd in the future.

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Thank you Don *hug* That means alot to me...

    M

  8. #8
    Nisai Charlespear's Avatar
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    Angry Image

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsmith
    Sorry you lost a healthy and much loved pet to the heron.

    I often think we are fooled into believing Herons are graceful and majectic and almost delicate birds based on their stalking and prey techniques. The impression may be accurate but the nature of a heron is really one of a high level predator. They are very agressive birds that can put an eagle to shame when it comes to outbursts of violence! I think of them as winged velociraptors! Here is a shot of two males fighting from National Geographics wall paper series.

    Please take to heart the idea that once they have fed, they will keep returning.
    JR
    Not sure why you wanted to mess up my evening with that photo!! It just reminded me that I've never hit one (in flight) here in Key West where it's a monthly occurance.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    Is there anything we can do for protection against this birds? I am digging a pond that is about 3' deep with a 18" shelf for plants....am I just asking to give one of these heron a good meal?

  10. #10
    Tategoi KoiCCAPW's Avatar
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    Yes, but...

    Only if you put fish in it.

    Go much deeper.

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