The Beast Eats

The Beast lives in this little pond.

little pond


Twelve years ago, she was the size of a small goldfish. Like these.

little fish


But, the Beast is a koi, and they can get big. Like this.

Beast by lilies


When we built the pond, I bought a few small koi. Some died for reasons that I don’t fully understand (water quality?) but most were taken by Great Blue Herons. You have to be a savvy, wary, smart fish to live more than a decade. You also have to eat a lot.

The Beast and her minions are fed

. Like chickens, they are omnivorous, so along with eating vegetable matter, they’ll eat insects, larvae, and even tiny fish. The Beast especially likes the algae growing on the rock where the water cascades down. On sunny days, it is tantalizingly our of her reach. She can’t risk exposing her body to open air and hot sun. But when it rains, she lifts halfway out of the pond to get at the slimy green stuff. Smart fish.



  1. Amazing. Maybe how lizards eventually became land animals…

  2. I love that you posted this today. We had a visit from a Heron yesterday morning! My pond is like a puddle compared to yours. I had two goldfish. Now there’s one. I sunk a pot into the deepest section so the fish would have a place to hide if the predator comes back…which I am sure it will. How do you protect yours?

    • That big rock in the center has a cave under it. Also, Lily has been a very good heron chaser. Now, with her injured leg, we’re keeping an eye on things. So far, her bark still scares them away.

      • I would have loved to see what my Westie would have done had she seen it. It was enormous!

    • Kris I have a friend that had to put netting over his pond in order to keep fish. He was buying the “feeder” goldfish and that’s exactly what they were, he was feeding the local heron population.

      I am not sure where he got it but it is so thin that unless the sun hits it just right he don’t see it.

      I’ve have a pond as well with one large koi and some large goldfish and my pond is deep enough that if I have losses I don’t notice.

      • Thank you! I was out for a walk last night and saw it flying over head. And it was back at the pond this morning. So it’s obviously not giving up until the buffet is gone. ;) A neighbor told me that he protects his with fishing line criss crossed over top of the pond. So either that or the netting you suggest. I will have to do something soon!

    • Raccoons aren’t above a little fishing as well so make sure your pot is in the deepest part and has no bottom. That way the fish can scoot out the back door if necessary. :)

  3. Good girl Lily. The Heron keeps walking up and down our patio eyeing up our Koi in our pond, but they can’t get to them as we have a 2′ high decorative fence round the pond at present because of the Grandkids, will have to think of something different in a few years time. :)

  4. I’ve noticed lately that Buelah, Veronica, and Nancy Drew have really enjoyed their dust baths over in the far corner. Looks like they have really dug out a good “bath tub.”

    • They have! It’s time for me to buy builder’s sand and fill in some of those holes. Although the fence is 8 inches below ground, those “bathtubs” are deep and I don’t want anyone slipping out!

  5. A cautious Beast! :) I’ve seen Koi beach themselves when their owners came down to the pond with their food. Greedy little fishies!

  6. Terry, have you ever thought of doing a Pond Cam? It would be so much fun to watch.