As I wrote about from Heathrow Airport last Saturday – http://nishikigoi.life/2017/04/29/summer-stay-purdin-koi-farm/ – I’m now in Louisiana, USA, staying at Purdin Koi Farm until the middle of July.

Before leaving I knew that the weather forecast for Sunday was somewhat foreboding with a severe weather warning in place for torrential rain and severe thunderstorms.

Bill and Maureen collected me from Lafayette Airport at 9.30pm and as we made our way to the ‘Lake House’ on False River, my home for the stay, the sky around us was filled with lightning, a sign of the storm that was brewing.

When I awoke the rain was falling, but nothing like the storm which was forecast to start at 7am, and did so right on cue.

Lake House view, 6.40am 30th April

Lake House view, 6.40am 30th April

As I drove to the farm visibility was almost zero at times, and it was as though driving in the middle of the night.

By mid morning the rain had started to recede and we got on with preparation for what would be the main activity of the next few days, the spawning of three female Koi.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

You can see the set up and preparation for the spawning on the video below.

 

Ever since I was a child and my love of angling and all things fishy developed I always dreamed of having some fishing at the bottom of the garden.  I have exactly that whilst staying here at the ‘Lake House’ and as I sat there mid Sunday afternoon the thoughts of the morning weather couldn’t be further from my mind.

4.30pm 30th April

4.30pm 30th April

Likewise, the following morning was a whole lot different as well, as you can see from the beautiful drive to work in the video above.

Monday 1st April consisted of setting the parents together for spawning, as well as the usual tasks of feeding and checking the Koi before taking some rest in preparation for a sleepless night during which the Koi would hopefully spawn.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

I arrived back at the farm at around 7.30pm, brim full of anticipation for the night ahead, and took a wander around the fry ponds as the sun vanished behind the tree line and everywhere fell into darkness.

Dusk falls over Purdin Koi Farm, 7.45pm, 1st May

Dusk falls over Purdin Koi Farm, 7.45pm, 1st May

Inside the Koi house, dimly lit with just one light in the corner so as not to disturb the parent Koi, it was a waiting game.

The video below shows the evening as it developed.

Spawning nets containing parent Koi

Spawning nets containing parent Koi

Any sign of potential egg release by the female were carefully inspected by torchlight by both Bill and Scott.

Bill McGurk checks for eggs from the Kohaku

Bill McGurk checks for eggs from the Kohaku

Scott Purdin checking for eggs from the female Goshiki

Scott Purdin checking for eggs from the female Goshiki

Scott Purdin checking for eggs from the female Goshiki

Scott Purdin checking for eggs from the female Goshiki

Exactly spot on midnight they finally spawned.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Goshiki parents spawning

Goshiki parents spawning

Goshiki parents spawning

Goshiki parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

Kohaku parents spawning

By 4am spawning was complete, I returned to the Lake House with a view of doing some computer work for a couple of hours.  Truth was I sat there with my eyes closing until 6am and dawn broke and decided to return to the farm, via McDonalds, for a well earned breakfast for myself and Bill who had stayed there.

False River sunrise, 6am, 2nd May

False River sunrise, 6am, 2nd May

Sunrises over Purdin fry pond, 6.50am, 2nd May

Sunrises over Purdin fry pond, 6.50am, 2nd May

The 2 images below show what was a huge number of eggs layed by the young Kohaku parent.  As the Koi spawned for approximately 3 hours it is impossible to say exactly how old they are at the time of the photograph.

Newly laid eggs, photographed 5-8hours after spawning

Newly laid eggs, photographed 5-8hours after spawning

Newly laid eggs, photographed 5-8hours after spawning

Newly laid eggs, photographed 5-8hours after spawning

Tuesday morning continued in preparation for what would be another sleepless night.  At midnight the packing of 31 boxes of Purdin Koi to be shipped to SunnyBank Koi in the UK would commence, a journey which then required Bill and Maureen to drive to New Orleans, from where the Koi would go via New York to Manchester.  As I’m typing they should be on the final leg of their journey and very much approaching the UK, a total journey of around 24 hours from packing.

Many of the Koi being shipped were Koi I am familiar with, and Koi that I have featured here on Nishikigoi.Life since my first visit in November 2015.

Nisai for shipment to the UK

Nisai for shipment to the UK

Tosai for shipment to the UK

Tosai for shipment to the UK

At midnight it was time to start packing.  Absolutely every used in the packing process, apart from the Koi and water, originated in Japan.  The boxes, the bags, the Alfish and even the tape and rubber bands used to seal the bags and boxes respectively, are all imported from Japan.  Quite simply there is a belief between Scott, Bill and Maureen that all of the stuff produced for use with Koi in Japan is better than the equivalents that can be found in or sourced in the USA.

Boxes ready for packing

Boxes ready for packing

Bill McGurk has spent his whole working life with Koi, I joke that he’s never had a ‘proper job’, and Maureen also many years.  They are old hands at boxing and packing Koi, although this was the largest shipment that has left Purdin Koi Farm.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Teamwork....

Teamwork….

I have to say, I’ve never seen anyone outside of Japan handle Koi with such confidence and capability as Bill.

Bill bags a nisai Goshiki

Bill bags a nisai Goshiki

Shortly before 4am the Koi were all packed and inside the refrigerated van that Bill and Maureen would drive to New Orleans to pass them into the hands of the airline to take them to the UK.

31 boxes of Purdin Koi ready to head to the UK

31 boxes of Purdin Koi ready to head to the UK

As Bill and Maureen headed for New Orleans, I headed back to the Lake House to grab some breakfast, and an unplanned hour of sleep.

At 8am, another threatened storm was closing in on the farm.

Stormy sky over fry pond

Stormy sky over fry pond

Before the torrential rain started I managed to grab a couple of pics of some small Sanke fry, now 2 weeks old, and offspring of the ‘Miracle Mother’ – http://nishikigoi.life/2015/12/14/the-miracle-mother/.  It really is amazing how quickly they grow.

2 week old Sanke fry in mud pond

2 week old Sanke fry in mud pond

2 week old Sanke fry in mud pond

2 week old Sanke fry in mud pond

Back inside the Koi house a couple of pictures of the eggs.  I suspect on return to the farm tomorrow there will be some eyes clearly visible inside the eggs as the young fry develop.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Goshiki eggs, 29-32 hours since being layed....

Goshiki eggs, 29-32 hours since being layed….

Kohaku eggs 29-32 hours after being laid.......

Kohaku eggs 29-32 hours after being laid…….

This afternoon and evening has seen the promised storm materialise, the image below captured from some video taken at 9.30pm.

Lightning flash, 9.30pm

Lightning flash, 9.30pm

With midnight approaching, and a 6am start, that pretty much sums up the first 4 days of my stay here at Purdin Koi Farm, just another 70 days to go…..


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month