Winter is around the corner in Little Siberia

The end of summer means goodbye for some of our koi. The Normandale Japanese Garden is always happy to receive some free koi and the primary caretaker enjoys koi keeping. This fall we took four koi to the garden. It’s a little sad to move koi along but I always feel good knowing that I will be able to check up on them throughout the year. The garden has been getting a few improvements this year including a koi feeding platform. The garden consultant is trying to introduce some more elements that will encourage visitors to stop and spend a little more time in the garden. Hopefully the platform will not become a favorite hangout for any herons.

Three of the koi refused to swim out to the deeper areas. The pond builder had to splash the water around to get them moving.

The koi donations are all koi that garden visitors should enjoy. There are not too many koi with beni in the pond so I thought a kohaku or two would be nice. There were a few garden visitors walking around when we brought the koi and they enjoyed watching us release the koi.

I had two other koi earmarked for the Japanese garden but I decided to give them another year with me. The asagi lost a scale trying to swim into the skimmer and of course it’s right on the top of the head. I’m not sure if the scale is going to come back. If it doesn’t, a lovely koi for the garden. The kohaku has some faint beni spots on the shiroji that I hoped would go away. They look rather faint in the photo but are pretty obvious when you observe the koi. I don’t believe it’s a function of color food because the spots appeared a few months after arrival. Tosais are always a gamble.

Once we dropped off the koi, we decided to measure all of our koi to check on summer growth. We usually do this while we are moving our koi indoors but we had some extra time on our hands. By measuring now, when the weather turns, we can just focus on bringing the koi indoors. I don’t feel the koi put up spectacular growth numbers this year. Koi feeders that were malfunctioning might have been a problem. I’ll definitely have to use a different feeder next year.

Some of the koi made smaller gains in length but put on some overall body weight. The tosai put on a lot of inches and girth. I put all these statistics and photograph of each koi into an excel sheet. It’s interesting to see which ones do better. I’m very excited to see improved growth once the koi move south. For now, I’m starting to switch them to JPD Fujizakura food. The temperature was 33 the other evening and this morning it was 40 in Minnesota. We flew to our farm home today and it was very warm and humid – the koi are going to love it!

Work on the lower pond is going well.The pond builder has pulled off all the equipment and we put much of it for sale on our club website. We will be shipping the RDF south before winter. Might need a few extra hands to muscle it to the driveway and on to a pallet.

We are enjoying the process of thinking about where to put the next pond and what type of features it might have. We are not going to have the rectangular pond because our koi seem to be annoyed with corners. Or maybe the pond builder and I do not like corners. My daughter pointed out a feng shui belief that evil travels in a straight line so a curvy pond might be more desirable. Hmmmmmm – stay tuned, I’m sure our plan will change several times before we ever break ground.

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