Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Heron Traps


My parents have a pond in the garden with several fish in.heron

Until a week ago my dad had a solid, grid-like structure over the top of the pond so that SC had no chance of falling in. Now that he’s old enough to hopefully not try to go swimming in the fish pond my dad removed the structure.

The result has been that we’ve been able to see the fish for the first time in years, as the pond which has been so cloudy, is now clear.

Unfortunately, it would appear to also have alerted the local heron.

Saturday morning I opened the kitchen blinds to see one fish on the grass and another on the patio a jump away from the pond.

Now maybe the fish on the patio had tried to make a break for freedom, but definitely not the one on the grass.

Thankfully, it wasn’t raining, so I ventured out in my pjs and wellies (the must-have look this season, I’m assured) and had a look.

The fish had blood on them, but seemed to be still breathing … just.

So, I retrieved the fishing nets from inside the shed and scooped up the first fish (no wonder the heron dropped it, weighed a tonne) and popped it into the pond – result started breathing properly, so I left it in the net to retrieve the other one.

Lo and behold the same thing happened. I left them in the nets for about an hour and then my dad released them back, apparently perfectly OK.

Until Sunday morning. Again I opened the kitchen blinds to witness a massacre.

This time 3 fish had been attacked.

Again, outside in the pjs and wellies. This time 1 fish was not so fortunate to make it – no sign of life at all.

But the other 2 (must be cats in disguise, they’ve now got 7 lives to go) got scooped back in the pond and live to fight another day.

Quarter of an hour later I look out of the kitchen window to see Mr Heron standing bold as brass in the pond trying to have another pop.

Sharp tap on the window pane saw him off, and temporary construction of netting over the pond has halted the assault on the fish!

Anyway, I digress.

Yesterday morning before school SC decided to plan a heron trap. so that he could save the fish and trap the heron.

Several sheets of A4 paper later, we have an intricate, mapped-out-to-the-last-detail plan of how to catch the heron.

It basically involves laying a net over the entire garden – fence height of course, held up by the trees (which we don’t have, but will have to plant).

The person on watch has a pair of special binoculars which are linked to the electric cable that operates said netting and when the heron is spotted the electric must be activated to open up the nets.

Once the nets are open the heron will fly unsuspectingly towards the pond and then the electric will be activated again and the netting will close up trapping the heron inside.

Obviously the explanation, actually went on for a good hour, started before we went to school, whilst I was driving to school, sitting in the car, and also whilst he was walking up to the school gate, each iteration of plan, getting more and more elaborate!

I tell you, I started humming the theme tune for the Great Escape (mmm, Steve McQueen on the motorbike does it every time!).

So, if you have heron trouble, don’t panic, we have a cunning plan!

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