July 2nd, 2013

krazy koati

``Whee!'' yelled the little fishes, ``Here's a lot of fun''

You may have heard that bunny_hugger and I have a pond in the backyard. It's a good-sized one, just big enough to bloom with sheets of algae large enough to propel an aircraft carrier by sail. (I'm really, truly impressed by how much matter algae can make out of water, air, and light.) Ever since a devastating raccoon attack several years ago the pond's been without fish, though. bunny_hugger's wanted to get some new fish, and saw a Craigslist advertisement for some from not far away.

So that's how we got ... probably not more than a dozen goldfish of various stripes. We embarrassingly forgot to take photographs or count them when they were in the white bucket used to transport them, so we've had to do our best to estimate the number when they're in the actual water. This has several hazards, among them, that there's plants they can hide behind and that at least one of them is a very dark, brown fish that blends in nearly perfectly with the background. I actually think there are two like this, because I'm pretty sure I have seen their outlines against the brighter orange fish, but bunny_hugger hasn't caught sight of them, at least as of this writing.

The fish spent their first couple days huddled together at the bottom of the pond, typical frightened behavior (I'm told) and quite reasonable considering they'd always been aquarium fish and now were out in the open in a much larger enclosure than they've ever had and in something fairly close to natural circumstances. Over the first couple days they started exploring more and more of the pond, and by last week they'd even got comfortable enough to come up to the surface of the water, at least when we're not around.

bunny_hugger also picked up some food pellets, not because they need more food --- they've got enough algae and bugs to keep them busy for life --- but so that they'll have some reason to come see us. The pellets initially left the fish baffled, and believe me when I say you haven't seen baffled until you've seen goldfish staring at you for tossing ... things ... at them, but some of the smaller ones came up and after a few tries even successfully ate one. Within a week they were starting to get less terrified of the food and to the point where they'd understand it was there for the eating with just a minute or so to think about it.

Trivia: In October 1938 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission received federal financing --- $29.25 million from the Public works Administration and nearly $41 million in revenue bonds from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation --- to build the Pennsylvania Turnpike; terms of the financing required that most of the work be completed by the end of May 1940. Source: The Big Roads: The Untold Story Of The Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created The American Superhighways, Earl Swift.

Currently Reading: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May/June 2013, Editor Gordon van Gelder.

PS: My June 2013 Statistics for the mathematics blog, since apparently some people find those things interesting, and while I'm at it the parallel data for my humor blog, again, surprisingly popular considering how much there isn't in it.