Complete with fireworks and fish tales...
Well we started the Fourth with a bang all right, although it wasn't exactly the kind we were expecting. Thankfully, we were running in and out checking on the horses so our home grown "Old Faithful" didn't spew for too long. Gotta love those exploding hoses. NOT :oP I hope everyone's Fourth was happy and healthy out there. Firework shows here were almost canceled because of the drought; the heavy rain we got last week and then again the night before the Fourth saved the fireworks display. Meh.
I don't think I told you, but shortly after Larry, Moe and Curly's untimely demise (this post) someone discovered that we had a drive through sushi restaurant on the premises and were serving up fish on the go. First it was Faith; she vanished mysteriously without a trace one afternoon. Two days later I was still puzzling over Faith's disappearance, when I noticed that Hope was nowhere to be found. Now it was just Charity all by her lonesome in there. I may have never figured it out except that as I sat by the tank a day or two later (watching Charity and scratching my head), a large stealthy shadow passed directly overhead. Charity flipped out and frantically tried to hide herself in the silt on the bottom of the tank. Seriously? A hawk? Well isn't that just SPECIAL. Can you not go eat random pond fish or something else that doesn't have a name attached to it dude? Ugh....
Poor Charity; she has been like this day in and day out since she lost her little finned friends. Sitting with her head up against the side of the tank looking miserable. Sounds ridiculous I guess, but this photo is a variation of the theme. She has been this way every day; parked at the bottom of the tank, tail drooping and not moving other than to relocate to the other side of the tank and be sad over there. According to experts (lots of people who are way smarter than me ;o) the happier a fish is, the more they swim around (this post). Apparently fish get lonely and depressed just as we do. This left me with a bit of a dilemma. While I hated to see her moping about, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of continuously feeding Joe Predator. I thought I'd probably better figure out a way to protect the fish first.
I thought we might try one of those fake owls, but since they range between $25 and $30 that was going to have to wait (insurance first). Turns out I didn't have to. I was asking my dad if they worked, and he mentioned that he had an extra one just sitting in his garage. Hot diggity dog! We're extending the courtesy of nomenclature to inanimate resin objects this week, and I've opted to name her "Grimble" after one of the characters in the first book of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series; the only one I've read thus far (it's a children's book). Hey, I work in an elementary school, remember? ;o) Did you know that you are supposed to move the fake owls every other day or so? If you don't the birds can figure out they're fake. I thought that was interesting (and don'tcha just learn all kinds of cool stuff via Professor Google?). Anyway, in case I forget - which is extremely likely - I've put a small silver disk on the post opposite as shiny is supposed to deter birds as well (here's hoping it works!) Then it was back to the fish store to find Charity some new friends - hang in there chickie, company's coming!
You know, if I hadn't watched it with my own eyes, I probably wouldn't have believed it. After seeing Charity just sit at the bottom of the tank day after day I wondered what she would do when she got her new friends. We got no reaction when DD put the bag in the water to acclimate them; she remained motionless at the bottom of the tank. But when we let them out? She popped right off the bottom and started swimming around all over the place. Although I had the camera right there in my hot little hands, I was so interested in Charity's reaction, I forgot to video the actual release (duh). I did shoot a little over a minute for you right afterward though. It cracks me up to watch Charity swim; her pectoral fins seem disproportionately small in comparison to her chunkymonkey shape. She's an Oranda Goldfish and looks like a weeble gone wild or something. Right after the 40 second mark, she swims over and plants one on Hope. Do you think she read my last post on kissing? Too funny.
We ended our week with a bang too (or at least an Arrgh!). Max, our resident problem child, decided that the grass looked a bit greener on the other side of the fence and snuck out. Seems we had a short somewhere, and although the box was happily ticking away the fence was no longer working. I have no idea how he knows these things, but he does. If only he would use his powers for good *sigh*. He didn't go far, just right outside the fence, and was munching away with poor Shadow all in a tizzy on our side. I sent DD to grab the other lunge whip so we could fan out to keep him from going the wrong way while trying to get him to go back in the same way he got out so we could find it (like this clip). I'll admit, had I watched our little drama unfold on someone else, I would have found the whole thing hysterically funny.
DD, wanting to turn Max back toward me, thought she could just flick the whip at him instead of holding it straight out to the side like I asked her. I saw what she was planning to do and tried to stop her. You know how your brain suddenly screams *Warning*Warning*Train wreck!*Train wreck!* sometimes? Well, waving your arms frantically and yelling "NOOOOOOO" doesn't do a whole lot with a deaf kid that's not looking at you. I tried to run, but factoring in the muscle disease, arthritis and bursitis, the result was kind of a Hop-A-Long Cassidy meets Quasimodo sprint. Not pretty, and waaaay too slow. *sigh* Max shied at the whip, shot around her (in the wrong direction) and ran into another neighbor's yard leaving the area all together and headed straight toward the road. This was entirely too much for Shadow, who collapsed in a distraught puddle by the fence. Oy. Thankfully, Max didn't go far before he realized he was Leaving Home. He slammed on brakes and executed an immediate 180; one that any cutting horse would have been proud of. Since he was all but trying to crawl in my pocket when he got back, I guess it scared him too. While I didn't get a picture of Shadow's initial "swoon" (don't know what else to call it, and we are in the South after all ;o) I did get a shot of his second episode, this time when he collapsed in relief after it was over. Poor Shadow; all that trauma by proxy. I think it wore him out....
Well, I suppose since you read through all that, I should get to the giveaway part of the program. Thank you SO much to everyone who participated, and a very special thank you goes to "Clancy" for her wonderful support and for so generously kicking off the fundraiser. Thank you so very, very much!! Ready? Here we go...Congratulations Grace! If you will send me your mailing address, I'll pop this in the mail to you as soon as I can (it requires a trip to the post office, so it may take me a day or two to get there).
Have a blessed week everyone, and smile (it's better for your face ;o)