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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slowing Down

I have an eclectic taste in blogs. Some blogs I follow are always about the writing and publishing business while others stop to catch the sunsets and admire old barns... And others show their love for God's creatures.

I was recently approached by a fan who had read my latest book, Vicki's Key, who asked me about the job she had taken as a fish breeder. The job was inspired by my own hobby.

I have always adored freshwater angelfish. They are fascinating; they mate for life and under the right conditions can live to be 10 years old. When a mate dies, often the other will die soon after, leaving me to wonder if they had a broken heart.

I've had two pair of angelfish that seem to breed every few weeks. In the video below, Lindsay Buckingfish (yes, I name my angels) is the papa who is a 10-inch-tall black marble. Stevie Fishnick is the petite golden angel, the mama. If you look closely, you'll see their babies. They are crawling on the wide leaf of an amazon plant.

When they hatch, they are barely the size of a pinhead. It will take a week or more for them to grow fins to enable them to move beyond the leaf. When they venture too far, mama or papa will scoop them up in their mouths, take them back where they belong and spit them out.

Even before the babies hatch, the parents are diligent about defending them. In the video below, you'll see Lindsay Buckingfish defend the nest against another male angelfish, a 10-inch-tall koi angel known as Pipsqueak Littlefish, the Band Manager. I named him Pipsqueak because he was the size of a dime (literally) when I brought him home. I never thought he would grow to 10 inches tall! As Lindsay defends the nest, you'll see Stevie Fishnick tending to it, seemingly oblivious of the fight that could break out behind her. (Or maybe she's thinking, boys will be boys...)

I have to admit, after a long day of writing and all that goes into it, watching the fish is quite relaxing.

What do you do to relax?