Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Rhapsody in Green

Way back in April when the snow began to melt and reveal early spring delights we were aghast to discover that, after six years of successful overwintering, our pond critters had failed to make it. This time our little pond was a death scene. It was horrible. Not a single goldfish was swimming; all were floating, as were a few unfortunate frogs. We threw the tiny corpses under the cedar hedge (good fertilizer) and George proceded to pump out the water using the spare sump pump. There was a lot of disgusting slimy matter at the bottom which we tried to remove as best we could, all the while considering just filling in the hole and forgetting about the pond. But no, we decided to have another go at it. We added fresh water from the well and waited till it was time to re-stock the pond.

Luckily our neighbour has a pond as well, a much bigger one with fish galore. He gladly donated four adults, two orange, two white. By the time we put them in the water lilies had started to grow and I tossed in a handful of oxygenating plants. George installed a new more efficient pump and we created a small waterfall.

And voila!

This is where the four newcomers spent a lot of time in June, under cover of the grasses and lily pads. It was soon to become the nursery.

If you look closely around the edge of this lily pad you can see the tiny 'fry'.

Soon the frogs started to arrive. This one is Mr. Big.

And here is Mrs. Big.

And now we have a bunch of Little Bigs.

The fish fry are getting bigger now. I had to play around with the colours here in order to show them more clearly.

The waterfall trickles down.

And sometimes gushes.

And all is well once more.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Moon Children

We are now well into summer and the astrological sign Cancer. The very word 'cancer' usually causes feelings of alarm and fear among most of us...who hasn't been indirectly affected by or afflicted with this group of diseases? That's why I chose the alternative name for people born between June 21 and July 22. Moon Children have the Moon as their Sun sign, a strange contradiction I suppose but there it is.

In fact the crab comes out by the light of the moon and is affected by the tide.

The home is extremely important to Moon Children. Both my parents were born under this sign and I can attest to that fact...their home was everything to them. The above painting is an idealised version of the house I was brought up in. Though Mom and Dad rented it we all felt a great attachment to it.

Many years later they bought this old farmhouse which they lovingly restored over several years. They also set up an antique shop at the top of the shed. History and antiquity are also very big subjects on the Crab's agenda. My grandmother, a Gemini, was living with my parents at 'The Farm' and would sometimes serve customers in the shop. Her enthusiasm for old things was not so keen. She would often remark, "Who needs it?" Fortunately the customers were undaunted by her sales put-downs. The shop did quite well. Maybe because of her?

Food is another big item on the Cancerian list...well, it's on everyones' list of course, but it's VERY big with the crabs. Mom's garden was bountiful; she always seemed to be blanching beans or making jams and pickles. After the first year she learned to cut back on the zucchini. And, of course, we all came to visit at corn harvest.

My sons were lucky to have had many visits to 'The Farm'. Though one is Libra and one is Aquarius it provided them with wonderful memories.