I waited three years for this iris to bloom in the raised pond in our courtyard. I like to think it has a sort of Japanese serenity which belied the manic activity taking place below it over a few days last week.
I dreamt of stocking our water wonderland with magnificent koi carp - gold, vermilion, black, white and silver cruising beauties to delight the eye. But the head pondkeeper in my life decreed that they lay waste to all vegetation and we should choose fish that were more respectful of their surroundings. His slightly annoying solution was golden rudd (with the exception of a solitary elder they're hardly even gold!) who are discreet to the point of being a wretched bore ninety percent of the time. Ah, but when it's feeding time, they emerge in shoals, darting in all directions, flipping the surface with their tails as they snatch a mouthful and then coming back together in a more graceful formation. Gaze down through the limpid greeny depths and it's delightful.
In the balmy weather of our phoney summer last week, I heard the sweet sounds of some fishy business going on. I now know this group hanky panky to be 'spawning' but
that's the limit of my understanding as to what exactly it was they were up to. I did feel like a voyeur lying on the pond edge watching my normally shy chums brazenly wriggling into the curlywurly weeds on the surface thrashing, splashing, nudging and bumping and seductively turning turtle. Were they discharging their part of the bargain into the water or was this some kind of communal foreplay? It was hard to tell but I'm sure we'll see some results sooner or later.