Furious swooshing, whooshing and splashing water greets intruders of the secluded, romantic and peaceful back yard. Jumping, twisting and chasing meet our eyes. What have we stumbled into? What X Rated scene is going on in our own back yard? In the pond?
The pond is usually the calmest, most peaceful place in the garden. The quiet, dreamy hideaway offers surprises like the beautiful, colorful koi pond. The Koi smoothly glide by, unperturbed by human worries, blissfully involved in fishy meditations.
Unexpectedly and abruptly, the scene changes from one of contentment to a maddening chase. There is rapid, panicky, hysterical action swishing through the water. “What is going on?”
Have demons of the deep pervaded the pond? Has the Loch Ness Monster slivered into it? Is“Jaws,” threatening to invade the peaceful Koi Kingdom?
This is spring fever in the wild. Spring fever may turn a human young man’s heart to thoughts of love, but springtime turns Koi thoughts to breeding. There are no charming mating dances that some birds perform, or showy, flirtatious showing off of colors seen in other species. No songs of love and devotion. This is raw, violent, passionate need, graphically clear to anyone indecent enough to watch. Suddenly, unexpectedly there is a violent, ardent chase: the pursuit of males after females. The females swim away for cover, but the males surge in power to overtake them. The females often bruise their bodies on the pond’s rocks as they move to escape marauding males with mating on their minds. This destructive behavior is reminiscent of scenes from “Shades of Gray.”
The plants get pulled up by the roots, the water gets splashed out from pond to patio in the violence of their chases.
And then, in a few hours, all is quiet again. Peace reigns. The female Koi have dropped their eggs and the males have fertilized them. Relaxation returns.
Shortly after the orgy something looks different in the water. Upon closer inspection we see microscopic eggs. My husband, Harvey, gets the fish net and swoops a batch of them out and places them into a three gallon plastic pail. “Let’s see if we can save any. If we leave the eggs in the pond the Koi will eat them.”
So the mass of water plants filled with eggs lies at rest in a work sink in our basement. Harvey puts an aerator into the pail to oxygenate the water. And we wait. Will they hatch?
In a few days this is what we see:
As a life long fish enthusiast and collector Harvey knows what to do next. “If we have any hopes of keeping these babies alive we have to find a way to get some nourishment into those little bellies.” Now that they have advanced from eggs to baby fish he moves them into a five gallon tank, where they have room to swim around.
One trip to the Dover Pet Shop and he comes home with a small container of a product called “Baby Bites.” This stuff is as powerful to Koi as spinach is to Popeye. Look at the change in those little guys in a single week; they are starting to look like fish. They even have those black, button eyes that baby fish have. Not Koi yet, but recognizable as a member of the fish family nonetheless. They are beginning to exhibit some of the Koi colors: mostly orange and yellow. The experts tell us that in a year they will be the size of Guppies. Which means it will take at least two years for them to resemble the traditional Japanese fish, the Koi.
Watching the development of the tiny tank critters has become a daily occupation. They change and grow before our eyes.
Some day when they are grown perhaps some can be returned to the pond. Maybe they will be part of the serene, romantic, peaceful scene. Or maybe they will be members of a future orgy some time in the future.
Comments on: "SEX AND LUST OUT BACK" (26)
Awww,,, We have fish in an outdoor pond, but no Koi .. we were Lucky and One baby fish survived and is growing now is about 4 inches now in size but it survived a really bad winter too… Lovely pictures and hope you reared them all… Sue
It may be time for an update on the baby’s progress. Many of them are growing and doing well. But Darwin knew what he was telling about when he coined the phrase “survival of the fittest.” Some of them were microscopic in size and never got much bigger. The poor little creatures were congenitally weaker than their litter mates and never thrived.
Wunderschöne Fotos von den Fischen.Wünsche einen schönen Abend und guten Wochenstart Grüsse lieb Gislinde
But why do the koi go through all of that breeding activity and then eat their offspring? And without you and Harvey to rescue them, where did all of those koi come from? I love nature, but I also don’t get it.
Wonderful post, Ronnie, and great photographs.
In nature there are no Koi. They originate from Carp. The Japanese started breeding them 200 years ago, and carefully select the young to protect to reach adulthood. Great question.
Great work Ronnie 🙂
Thanks, Jake; maybe you can make some Koi come to life on one of your moving blogs.
“Fifty Shades of Koi” is a very funny title by one of your commenters. Who knew that koi are so dramatic when they do the “wild thing?” There are many conversations I want to have with God one day and one of them has to do with the mating rituals of various species because on the surface they all seem just a little bit bizarre. Great story and keep us posted on the survival (or not) of the offspring.
Thank you; they are doing well so far and I will update the photos to show you.
awesome blog. i enjoyed reading your articles. this is truly a great read for me. i have bookmarked it and i am looking forward to reading new articles. keep up the good work!http://www.silencioso.org
I’ve had sex and lust out back but it didn’t include fish. I know – TMI. Sorry. T
Maybe you know something the Koi don’t.
So interesting the difference in mating behavior in fish! And happy you’re experimenting with raising young koi! How fun. Good luck!
Thank you, Bela. You must see lots of Koi in Hawaii.
We do! But I’d love to have my own koi pond, one day 😀
More ELECTRIC than a cup of Morning Java: a volt of vicarious excitement engorged my senior brain feeling the turbulent frenzied activity, all for the sake of Procreation. Brilliant Alive Depiction Ronnie
Thank you, Lynn, but are you sure the title didn’t arouse your responses as much as the story?
Ronnie, glad you and your hubby saved the Koi babies. I’d love to have some in our pond, but the Great Blue Heron, ducks, Ibis and other large birds would likely treat their presence as a buffet. Lovely and vivid descriptions of nature gone wild.
Have you ever tried the motion detecting “scarecrow,” that sprays water whenever anything moves in its range? I don’Tt how effective it is for herons and the like, but it’s effective for keeping humans from getting too close to the fish!
How wonderful you were able to save some of the babies, and they do seem to be doing very well. I would say a job well done, by the fish and you. 😀
But my husband tells me that we’re not out of the woods yet. The babies have a lot of growing before they can be out with the “big guys.’ BUT SO FAR I FEEL OPTIMISTIC.
Who knew tranquil Koi could be so dramatic?! It will make for a good movie: Fifty Shades of Koi.”
Indeed. The Japanese have names for the different color combinations. I told Harvey I would consider taking the time to learn the Japanese names IF he took me to Japan. So far no airline tickets are forthcoming.
I never thought about a fish orgy before. Thanks for planting that mental image, Ronnie. How cool that you saved and nurtured the babies. Instead of test tube babies, you and Harvey have bucket babies. Enjoy them.
Thanks, Paprika. I’ll send your regards to the bucket babies.