Chimera Song Mosaic
Saturday, June 21, 2003
Sapo Report

I'm glad I looked at my pond today. There are two tiny, white snowflake flowers blooming from the submerged fanwort. My water lily, after a near death experience last fall when the pond ran out of water, has recovered nicely and is slowly covering the surface of the pond with huge, dark green, pads with dark stippling and feathered edges. It is getting more and more sun all the time, and I wonder when it will bloom. It is a Panama Pacific. The water hyacinths I smuggled from a stalled river outside of Houston (water hyacinths are a nuisance and illegal to transport across county lines because they grow quickly and clog waterways) are almost two feet tall and getting more sun; I hope they bloom soon. (I am very responsible with my water hyacinths; when they crowd my pond, I let them die on my lawn. This is the Valley. There is no other waterway around for them to infect.) Meanwhile, I am allowing a black fuzzy caterpillar to feed on them since he can't possibly keep up with their growth. My pennywort plant I bought on a whim at Petsmart has also flourished; it sends tiny, light green pads all over the pond. It was only supposed to be an aquarium plant. I had no idea it would survive.

The tadpoles are ubiquitous and hardy. I think more toad eggs have entered the pond because some of the tads are much, much smaller than the others. The largest ones are the size of baby aspirin. I don't know what I am going to do with so many toads. I have decided that they will become the very tiny toads the size of a pinkie fingernail that usually come out when it rains. I don't know if these little toads grow into normal toads or what, but I have two toad homes in my garden, although I haven't seen any using them lately (it is so wonderful and surprising to pick one up and find--a toad!).

I haven't seen my grown bullfrog or my other frog in months. I think they have gone off to find mates. That makes me very sad. I used to worry about how I would catch them if I ever moved, but I guess I don't have to worry about that now. I need to get some more bullfrog and other frog tadpoles from my mom's pond. I like the toads, but they are not tied to water and they won't stay. I had a water toad once, big as a football. His name was Miko, and he had pale blue eyes. But water toads are very poisonous to dogs, and my dog licked him one day and we had to flush out his mouth for several hours. A smaller dog could have died instantly. It was Miko or Lars (whose birthday is tomorrow--he will be 11!), so Miko had to go. I looked online, and they said to put Miko in the freezer and let him slowly die for several days (water toads are so tough that they can survive gunshot and being run over by a car). But I couldn't do that to Miko! I relocated him to another pond--a large one at a park a couple of miles away. He seemed okay there with the ducks.

My toadpoles swarm greedily when I drop the koi pellets. The plecostama also come straight for the food. But I can't figure out my fish; they must be really stupid. They always go to the same place in the pond for food, and they don't find it for several minutes or not at all if I don't drop it in that place. But I have to drop it in a new place almost every day because the vegetation in the pond shifts daily, and it is hard for them to pick through the floating grasses. They are also still somewhat shy around me. I guess I need to be more consistent with my feeding. I have two small koi and one regular fat goldfish. When my Koi get bigger, I will find out what type they are. Right now, all I can say is that the big one is mostly white with black and orange speckles, and the smaller one is pied orange and white, half and half. The goldfish is one of those fat white ones with an orange head, but not the kind that has the ridges or the bubbly eyes. They are all quite pretty, but I'm afraid, quite dumb.

I had a dream the other night. I was in a huge, dark room that was filled with water, maybe huge tanks or one large tank. It reminds me of the cistern beneath Istanbul. There are fish in that cistern--gloriously round, pearly carp with vestigial eyes or no eyes. They were checking out bits of dander and fluff that drifted down to the water as the visitors walked by on wooden boardwalks. I didn't see any food anywhere.

In my dream, the water was filled with small koi. Their bodies were moving over each other like insects. I became distracted, and when I looked back, they had grown into very big koi, long as your arm. They saw me (I assume) and reared up like circus animals, their heads and spines fully out of the water. Their prim mouths opened and closed, opened and closed. It was more like that with my other fish, the ones that died. When they saw me, they raised their heads out of the water, ever so slightly. But they seem to breach the atmosphere between us.

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