げつめい … Getsumei …

The purpose of the gardening features on this site
is to encourage anyone who might make their way here,
to put away the technology toys, get up from the television,
rise from the dead, and venture out to the type of meaningful life
that was common in the Age before the curse of the home computer.

Similarly with nishikigoi and the pond –
It is of course preferable
to have a Wakishimizu or Nexus filtration system maintaining
a pond of 3,000 gallons or more – sheer luxury:

but the average tender-hearted, caring gardener
who would appreciate, and put effort into the care of,
nishikigoi in their garden
cannot afford the expense of any such thing.

A few fish – properly cared for every single day,
can have a happy home, and will provide happiness
and contentment to any appreciative owner …
and it is for such people that I present these thoughts
on the garden … and on the pond.

This is Getsumei – I named him because his platinum colour
beneath the shade of the tree canopy, makes him appear
as though he is perpetually being lit by moonlight.

When he came to live here, he had only been off the airplane
for less than 24 hours (I brought him home in his “Live Fish”
styrofoam box complete with Airport Transit Stickers,
and I had been imagining that he came (prior to his journey)
right from a pond (eating whatever he could find off plants)

as he seemed utterly unfamiliar
with eating either flake food or pellets
that were on the water’s surface.

I had to hold the flakes under water until saturated,
and then let them drift down in front of him.

I was overcome with emotion to actually see
that he had to watch the other fish to ‘get the idea’ –
even then, to see his efforts in
approaching the flake of food,
and seemingly expecting it to come to him
when he would begin to ‘mouth’ the water
from three-to-four inches away …

… it took him two days before realising
that you have to go Right Up To the piece of food,
and THEN do the mouth action
to make it go inside.

He was ‘out of place’ in the pond, just as I am
out of place in the 21st century,
and I certainly have a ‘soft spot’ for him.

PL

3 thoughts on “げつめい … Getsumei …

  1. I loved that description. Any chance you could make it into a blog along with the wonderful photos you have of him? I especially love the night shot. I also loved the one of your trying (and succeeding at) saving the plant that had been planted upside down.

  2. Beginning in 1977, I was a photojournalist until the end of the 80’s, when realising ‘news’ was
    a tool to sway public opinion accepted less work and returned to garden;
    we could do feature pieces but these would be instantly redundant
    if something agenda-related was wanted: in ’98, did a piece in Northern Ireland,
    in literal trenches with Parachute Regiment; shot at; double-spread full colour piece
    was rejected in favour of ‘Gay Parade’. Plastic digital cameras meant that
    camera club cowboys would be given our assignments and editor would make passable photo
    using Photoshop 2. Gave up my Press Card in 2000.

    Photography ended at the end of 1970’s – never could have foreseen, in mid-70’s,
    that cameras would be auto-everything, or that computers – not people – would take
    the pictures by the mid-90’s. The ‘Diana’ murder was madness at the time –
    the public believed whatever they were fed on that cursed TV,
    and life was very hard in public streets for us with ‘the lenses’;
    people were savages, the skill had gone; and computers were making pictures.
    Do not even own a camera now: borrow a pocket camera from wife’s work bag
    to take a few garden photos for this site. Do not ever talk about it but, yes –
    I did mention it in an article in an effort to explain to people
    why they should never trust photographs any more.
    Convinced I am from another world, honestly — everything I believe in
    (quality products, humility, valuing skill-from-experience, professionalism,
    common courtesy; and men and women dressing like – well, like they used to;
    never could have imagined the ‘class’ or ‘quality’ would disappear from humanity
    so quickly and so completely) – everything is gone. Over the years,
    people always query the photos – “Do you do this for a living?” –
    but, I never volunteer that I wasted years of my life as a photojournalist.
    Pleased that someone likes the work and all was not a wasted effort. – PL

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