Cool dark green, almost blue
Crisp edge of water breaks
skimming the top
Hot spring day
above this cool, dark world.
Beginning a series of fish paintings for a large installation at the Ridgway Public Library in July. My initial inspiration was the elegant Japanese Koi paintings … and a story told to me by my old neighbor who was the Game Warden down here for years, about the Ouray Fish Pond by the Hot Springs. I guess his boss wanted the fish removed because they weren’t native. They might get in the stream and mingle with our native fish population.
“Those fish have been there forever.” He argued. (Ken Miller, if you know him)
Boss Man: “If you can find me an old timer who can confirm those fish have been there forever, we’ll leave ’em be”. So Ken found the oldest guy he knows in Ouray county – and he knew a lot of them, though many are gone now. This one was around 100 at the time. And he asked him how long those goldfish have been in that Hot Springs Pond …
Old Timer: “Well, I remember when I was a boy, the Ute Indians would camp there and I would play with their kids. Those fish were there then”.
End of story.
Koi (鯉) are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.
Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream. The most popular category of koi is the Gosanke, which is made up of the Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, and Showa Sanshoku varieties.
The pond at the Hot Springs Park has fish and turtles, including number of brightly colored foot-long Japanese koi and the black Pacu (a vegetarian cousin of the piranha fish).
So there you go … stay tuned for more fish.