We were out by our mailboxes talking to our neighbor, Jared, for about ten minutes before I realized he was wearing his waders, boots that seamlessly transition into leakproof pants. He had broken the ice on his bond and he was taking inventory of the fish that survived our tough winter. There were twenty-four groggy fish in the pond before the snow came. They stop eating when the water temperature goes into the forties and just kind of float below the surface.
When the water freezes on top he has a small heater that keeps a small opening in the surface, just enough to let gasses escape. He was in New Zealand and emailed us to request that we clear away the snow from the top of the heater but when we did that the ice froze around the heater’s cover sealing the fish in for a few weeks. So far he has identified four living fish, one injured fish and six dead ones. Jared was in mourning but I am uncertain as to whether it is over the loss of the fish or the engineering failure.