Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What lies beneath...

There's a ghost in my house. I saw her in the water...
(from the movie "What Lies Beneath")

One of the fishponds in the farm, the biggest and lowest in the series of ponds that divides the farm into what I call "lower" and "upper" gardens.

Beneath that still and murky water, life is teeming. There are several species of fish: catfish, carp (koi) and tilapia. Even an unwanted (but tasty) mudfish (snakehead) finds its way into the ponds from time to time. The water buffalos too would sometimes wade in to ward off pesky insects or to cool down.

Our dog Tintin enjoying a morning swim in one of the fishponds.

But other creatures too are lurking under that calm and turbid water. They have been there all along, silently growing and multiplying out of sight, stealthily moving about. They announce their presence only when the ponds are drained of water. Although they can be harvested as a food source, they are not completely welcome guests. While their presence was thought to be benign, their voracious appetite became apparent when I told Mom to put the young Lotus plants in one of the ponds so they could start to grow bigger.

Young Lotus plats growing in separate containers.

It's a good thing that Mom submerged just one container of young Lotus plants into the shallow side of the pond. After a few days, all the leaves of the young plants were gone and the remaining stalks were covered with eggs of these rapacious culprits.

There are snails in the fishponds! Mom said their eggs also cover the stalks of the now gregariously growing Red-stemmed Thalias. The Thalias however, are unharmed. The snails have not ravaged them. Maybe they find the Thalias not appetizing or too tough for them to nibble so they just deposit their eggs on their stalks.

Up until Mom broke the news to me, I didn't know about the existence of these pests in the ponds. Now I have a problem. How can I put water-loving plants into and around the ponds if there are creatures that are more than willing to devour them. My options will be limited now to those that can withstand attack from these snails.