Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The War is On........

I 'm sorry that this post today has nothing to do with running, or Disney, or traveling, or fashion, and it's not even a random Thursday thoughts post. What's going on?   I had a little funny/not so funny story to tell. I know it's kind of random, but maybe it will help somebody else one day.

Here goes........

This past Monday was our dad's birthday. Before I could call or text him "Happy birthday", I got an alarming text from him.  ( I would take screen shots of my phone, but I don't know how)

Dad: Someone stole all my fish in the pond. Seriously, All of them.

Me: What????

Dad Yes, no fish in pond.

Me: Could there have been a bear or other wild animal in the yard?

Dad: No, they took them all


So here is a little background on this pond. My dad has built a decorative pond with a waterfall in their backyard. He's had koi and gold fish in this pond for about 20 years. Just this summer he had a professional landscaper come in and redesign this pond. He kept all the same fish though. One fish we knew for sure was 18 years old. It was a big one. My dad cleaned this pond and fed these fish every day for 20 years. You could say that he is quite attached to the fish pond. So this of course was devastating! Certainly not a way to start a birthday.


This is Belle sneaking a drink out of the pond before it was re-designed

So by the time Scott and I arrived at my parent's house, my dad had already gone to work. We walked outback and looked in the pond and just like he said, there were no fish!  We thought someone was playing a cruel joke on my dad for his birthday. But why would someone do this? Where they stolen? What happened to them?

Of course we couldn't let my dad come home to an empty pond, so Scott and I bought him a few new Koi and some gold fish. It doesn't come close to the 60 plus fish he had but it's a start. Did you know that some Koi are $249????

There was a LOT of investigation that went on that day, and to make a long story short, we have determined that the culprit was a blue heron. Blue heron are really tall birds. In the 30 some years my parents have lived in that house, they have never seen a blue heron in their yard.

The next morning, my mom just happened to look out the window, and there he was, the fish bandit.
My parents made noise and hollered at the blue heron and it flew away. After my dad left for work, it came back again!  So yesterday my mom researched how to get rid of blue herons, and we spent all afternoon boobie trapping the yard and pond area.  We certainly did not want these new fish to end up missing too! We put nets up over the pond, and apparently these birds don't like shiny things. So of course we put some silver garland around the pond too.

We later found out that this bird has visited a another family in our neighborhood and ate 14 of their fish and most recently visited a family down the street from my parents and ate their fish too. I guess this blue heron is making his way through the neighborhood snatching fish along the way.  Not only do we fear the fish being ate, but these birds can do damage. They have very pointed beaks and can very easily poke holes in the liner of the pond. Hopefully what my parents are doing will deter him and he will move on.  But until then, my parents will be keeping a watch out for this blue heron!

Have you ever had a wild animal damage anything at your home? Has it bothered your animals or ate your crops?




24 comments:

  1. Aw I am sure your dad was devastated-and on his bday too! Sweet of you to get him some more fish. Wow they are crazy expensive huh?

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    1. Yes, I couldn't believe the price on some of those fish!

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  2. Your poor dad and those poor fish! We never had anything like that, but in Boston, the house was in a quiet neighborhood off an easement. We had a flock of turkeys constantly in the yard, and one time we had a baby skunk in the garage. No one got sprayed but it was scared.

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    1. Oh no! I think they've had their share of skunk too. I think Belle got sprayed by one this summer!

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  3. What a terrible birthday discovery!!! I know everyone has to eat, but that Blue Heron needs to go somewhere else!!

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    1. Yes, we are hoping he moves on soon, but I heard he was back again today!

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  4. Oh my goodness! Your poor dad! That was so sweet of y'all to go buy him more fish though - now just to keep the pesky blue heron away. At the same time, I kinda feel bad for the blue heron because he's just wanting a meal. Maybe y'all can get some cheap fish to feed the bird to distract from the nice fish?

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    1. Haha, the river is not too far away. He should go eat there and leave the defenseless pond fish alone!

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  5. That's awful but you read alot of stories where farmers have to deal with foxes and wolves going after their animals. So nice of you and Scott to buy a few replacements for your dad's pond.

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  6. Oh no! We used to have an avocado tree. For a while, we'd find avocados on the ground, all with one bite taken out of them. It seemed pointless to try to keep it when all we were doing was feeding squirrels, so we pulled it out. I'm sorry about your dad's fish. It sounds like you're being proactive to prevent the problem in the future, though.

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    1. Oh, I'd love to have an avocado tree! too bad those squirrels wouldn't leave it alone!

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  7. Oh no, I am so sorry!! My dad built a koi pond at my house that I grew up in and had it for YEARS and was really attached to it as well, so I can sympathize with how he must have felt!! We never experienced that but for a while when we moved they told us to be careful at dusk bc meer cats were taking small dogs!! We never let Morgan outside without us being right next to him! Scary!

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    1. Oh no! That would be scary. We saw a bear in our development once and after that I was afraid to let our dogs out alone too!

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    1. Yes,,,haha! I think my dad was hoping it was a person. That way he at least had a CHANCE of getting the fish back!

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  9. Oh yikes!! I have no advice but I get that your daddy would be upset...

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    1. Yea, and of all days it had to happen on his birthday!

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  10. We live on a lake and my hubby is a hunter......you can guess how that would end......

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  11. This is so sad! :( But I'm sure he really appreciated you and Scott for getting more fish.

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  12. Oh my goodness! I had no idea fish could live that long. I can't believe that happened to begin with, let alone on his birthday. Very nice of you to get him some more fish. Here's hoping they live a long & happy life in their new home, and your dad enjoys them as much as the old ones.

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  13. Oh that is horrible!!!!!! I am so sad for your dad, that is a long time to have fish and I totally know Koi are seriously expensive!
    My sister lives near a mountain and she has a lot of trouble with herrings in the spring, and rock chucks (she lets the deer stay for now). She lets her son shoot as many rock chucks as he can get, they are digging huge holes under her brand new home, but even then they are never ending..
    I am not sure what side of the bill your on, but we have found one way that pretty much guarantee's an end to wild animal problems when nothing else works.
    Get a pellet gun, that way you can shoot it in the backyard without freaking the neighbors out. If the bird won't leave and keeps causing trouble, a shot should be all that is needed to remove it. If you don't want to shoot it directly, a few shots around it anytime it's at your dads pond will likely scare it from returning.
    One thing about herrings is they don't stick around for a long time, they migrate. However depending on the weather and the area he could end up sticking around for several weeks. She had 4 herrings that took up residence in her backyard for a month and would chase them around, animal control couldn't remove them because they were on an endangered species list, but she didn't like them attacking her kids, and the pellet gun worked fabulously.

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  14. OMG, that's crazy! A blue heron ate them? I hope you can keep it away and there are no more fishy deaths!

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  15. Oh my gosh!! Poor fishes :0( I hope that blue heron stays away!

    Side note: I had no idea Koi fish were so pricey!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.