Friday, February 24, 2017

On Ponds and My Return

I just found out that one of my student's dad is a fish farmer. Actually I knew already but forgot. He wrote about it in his initial in-class essay. Today we are doing our warm up writing about catfish ponds. He lit up like a Christmas tree at that topic so I began to query him about the size of his ponds. He said he has some twenty acre ponds. Cha ching!! I asked him if I could swim and he said, "Yes." Cha ching, cha ching, cha ching!!! I really have lots of ponds already, but it is always nice to have some backups. Most likely his are too far away because I think he lives around Belzoni. But who knows, I may drive down sometimes just for a change of pace.

I really like the pond I am swimming now because it is large and well off the beaten path. Since I am now taking the dogs with me, being secluded is a good thing in part because Pee Wee chases automobiles. I never had this problem before so I don't know how to cure it, but it's dangerous for him and I would be devastated if anything bad happened to the little fellow.

Recently, my current pond was restocked with fish and a lot of them. As small as they are now, mostly that is not a problem. I did, however, run into them one day last week. They were all piled up in one corner and I was literally pulling myself through a pile of fish. Yes, I got finned but not too badly. When I told David about it, he said that's how the hybrids are. 

HYBRIDS!?!?!?!? 

Hybrids are a cross between the channel cat and the blue cat. The farmers are going that way because hybrids are tougher, more disease resistant, feed more aggressively, and grow faster. That's good for them but bad for me. That means these fish are going to grow quickly and food like crazy and if I am in the pond when the feed trick  comes by, I will get torpedoed mercilessly by fish. It's happened before and is a bit unsettling at best. It also means it won't be long before the fish and I are competing for space. In short, In will need a new pond soon. 

Actually, David has already suggested a pond for me, D 10. I drove over there once and mistakenly swam D 11. Since D 10 is currently fish free and recently repaired (that means clean), it will be a good choice. The problem is all the D ponds are low right now. When I asked David about the low water, he said they have electrical lines to run to the paddle wheels and when they finish that all those ponds will be pumped up. Now to hurry up and wait.

Speaking of ponds, Wednesday I was presented with a dilemma. I had a choice to make because Wednesday is often one of my major weightlifting days. But with the weather so nice and the pond temps so high, the temptation to go swim was strong. I turned it this way and that way in my mind. Since Penny's dad was having heart surgery that day, I knew most likely we would be in Jackson Saturday thus knocking out my other main day to lift. I think the lifting is important, but given a choice swimming should win every time. I just did not want to lose an entire week of lifting.

But . . .

I went to the pond.

The dogs had a blast as usual. So did I. The pond had risen to 68, that perfect temp for me and wetsuit swimming. That is really warm enough to swim skins but at that temp I often still freeze out. So probably I will let the water hit 70 before I ditch the suit for the year. 

I made four full laps which is three miles plus, but my watch lost satellite reception once so it only showed 2.58 miles. Pee Wee, unlike Bear, made every lap with me. Seeing him up on the shore rolling and sniffing and smiling, sometime drinking really makes the swim more enjoyable. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.