Monday, June 9, 2008
Reflections On Algae Nibblers
Natives of Eastern Asia, large, colorful carp have been bred in Japan, China and Korea since the 17th century. Most widely known as koi, their popularity has spread worldwide, as they can be shipped quickly and safely by air in plastic bags.
A cold water fish, they are a Japanese symbol of love and friendship. When their pond water drops below 50 degrees in the winter, they lose their appetite and stop eating almost entirely, except for some minor algae nibbling. Once the water warms again, they especially enjoy feasting on peas and watermelon , and come to recognize the person who feeds them. Although preyed upon by herons, cats, raccoons, and foxes, they generally live 30-40 years and have been known to live as long as 200 years.
These photographs were taken yesterday at the fountain pond in the central courtyard of Mission San Juan Capistrano. A cluster of seven story tall palm trees is reflected in the water.