I COPED quite well with empty nest syndrome, but this is something else. Tragedy has struck, not in the form of a wet border terrier this time (see previous post) but a real, live, predatory heron. As I opened the door at 6.30 to get a breath of air on a (yes, really) summery morning this week, I saw a massive heron taking flight from the side of the pond. A rare and magnificent sight. Or so I thought. Later as I casually examined the pond I realised with horror that there was not a goldfish to be seen. There had been four: three small ones bought at the start of the summer, and a large one which was here when we moved in. Plus loads (10 at the last count, which was when Charlie was here last week) of baby goldfish which were a real bonus. We’d enjoyed watching them grow and, wouldn’t you know it, I’d just bought a little book on caring for your pond and its inhabitants. I hadn’t got to the bit about predators.

Decoy heron. Or not, as it happens.

Decoy heron. Or not, as it happens.

What a blow – and there I’d been, smug in the belief that the sculpted heron bought for Ian four years ago (left)  and made from recycled bikes by a man in Darlington whose work I saw at an Oxford arts week, would act as a deterrent to the real thing. Amazing that I actually saw the thing take off: presumably with my goldfish in him. How sad.

Darren Greenhow was his name. The sculptor, not the heron. Google him and you’ll find him on YouTube.



All gone

All gone


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