I have a pond in my front yard. An actual pond with a waterfall that magically turns on at 10am and off at 8pm. A little bridge spans an even smaller “stream” part of the pond and leads from the front gate to my house. It’s adorable, truly.
The pond is home to koi. Also rainbow trout. 19 of the first; 4 of the second. Never heard of a koi/trout pond? Neither has anyone else. Amazingly, they seem to live together fairly happily. Every morning when I’m in town, I go out to the pond before the waterfall kicks in. The pond is peaceful and still. The water is clear. When I walk up to the pond, the fish all swim over to say good morning. OK, they swim over because they’re pretty sure I’m going to feed them, but I think they also want to say hi. Well, maybe not the trout.
When you feed koi in a non-trout pond, the koi are pretty chill. They float around and nibble on the treats and look lovely and zen. Things are a bit different in my pond. The moment the food hits the water it is EVERY FISH FOR HIMSELF! (Or possibly herself, I can’t really tell if the fish are boys or girls.) The trout are amazingly fast, zipping up to the surface and gobbling up as they go, splashing out of the water, diving down, pushing past every koi that gets in the way.
The koi are learning. They’re starting to hold their own — furtively sneaking in and grabbing some treats at speeds I’ve never seen koi attempt in any other pond, pushing their way in, diving and darting. They’re tough, my little koi.
When the treats are gone, the trout swim away. The koi stick around, back to their floaty zen state. We’re cool, they’re saying. That feeding frenzy free for all? That wasn’t even us. Must have been some other koi.