Young Nature in the Morning


There are rare times when serendipity happens in a theme in the garden. This morning was one of those occurrences. I was sitting under the plum tree watching for the fish to come out from under the lily pads to eat and simply enjoying the morning sun.

Oreo was on her usual patrol around the garden, keeping an eye on me as she always does in case I headed back to the front porch where she likes to be petted. She headed for the downspout of the flower pot filter that flows back into the pond like a little waterfall and got a drink from the fresh water that was flowing out.

I was watching her little pink tongue lap up the water when I saw some movement a couple of feet to her left. I looked closer to what appeared to be a dragonfly on one of the edging rocks. But I didn't see any wings. Than I realized it was a baby lizard coming to get a morning sip from the pond. Only the size of a dragonfly's torso, the little lizard was in no hurry to go anywhere--it's little head piv0ting around in lizard fashion to survey the world around the pond. It was an "ahhhh" moment.

I continued to sit and watch for the goldfish (not used to being fed in the morning) to come out and eat. I was also topping off the pond with more water from the opposite end. Evaporation and drinking wildlife necessitate replenishing the pond water every few days.

Finally, the fish started to venture out from the big lily pads on the opposite side of the pond from where I feed them in a shallower area close to my chair under the plum tree. I watched all the babies come out and feed. Some are getting so big so quickly. It amazes me how fast goldfish grow.

The mature goldfish also came out with the shubunkins leading the way. Shubunkins are a beautiful breed of goldfish that are sleek in build with a fascinating coloring looking like one started with a white goldfish and then speckled it with black, grey and orange dots in a random pattern. My shubunkins are WalMart acquisitions from when they were small and only 98 cents. I added them for breeding stock hoping they would add their genetics to the existing strain (which has shubunkins mixed in from one previous male, the infamous Punkin the Shubunkin, that was quite prolific in his lifetime). The two newer shubunkins are now about 5-6 inches long nose to tail and mature enough to breed.

I watched all the babies darting in and out eating with the big goldfish when I saw a flash of a baby that looked different. I continue to watch in the same area and saw the same baby again, then again. There was that different flash again and again! Each time I was able to more completely see that this new baby was white on its body with the telltale orange and black spots instead of the black turning to orange that I see on regular babies! Could it be that I have a baby shubunkin in all its cute spotted glory?

I continued to watch and then realized there was another one! I could see them both at the same time so I knew there were two! And there were the spots again! Yes, I'm fairly certain we have two new baby shubunkins--cute, less than an inch long.

So this morning's serendipitous theme was seeing new babies in the garden.
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