With the pond well mucked out, and the fish having had plenty of time to spend in the basement, it was time we brought them back out and reintroduced them to the outside. At a start this was even easier than when we did the emergency changes of water, since we were just letting water out --- this time, we were better-prepared, with the old shower curtain serving as a channel, and occasionally taking a five-gallon bucket out separately, without having to haul any water back in --- until the tub was low enough we felt, basically, the fish had nowhere to flee.
This is not to say the fish were eager to be netted. They haven't been grabbed by nets much in their lives but they're quite certain they don't like it. The baby fish weren't too hard to catch --- bunny_hugger even accidentally grabbed one of them several times, in putting adult fish into the bucket --- but the adults protested and, you know, they've gotten to be pretty big and pretty strong. Still, she got all of them, and we carried the bucket extremely carefully out of the basement and set them in the pond.
They weren't happy about the change, and huddled at the bottom of the pool, the traditional goldfish method of expressing general disapproval of things. They can't have been much happier the next couple days as the weather turned cold because winter just will not give it up already. But since then, it's warmed up, and we set up a cat-scarer which howls an ultrasonic pitch that's supposed to chase cats away. In the week plus since their release they've taken up the whole pond as their territories again and are zipping around enthusiastically, which is the sort of thing we like to see. They're not perfectly sure, when we feed them, whether to go for the fish food pellets, or the air bubbles, or the bits of plant debris that have fallen in the pond, but we don't ask for efficient fish, just enthusiastic ones.
Trivia: Louis Braille developed his writing system for the blind at age fifteen. Source: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs.
Currently Reading: Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Editors James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel. So, dear bunny_hugger has been amused by the attempts of many people, Kelly and Kessel included, to say what exactly ``slipstream'' is, considering it's a bit of a mess, definitionally. She's been reading Jeff Vandermeer's Authority and enjoying it, and wondered if it might be a ``slipstream'' type novel anyway, and what do you know but Vandermeer's one of the authors in my book.