Sunday, December 13, 2009

The pond of the rising sun

One of the most photogenic members of the Koi Garden pond is a fish we call Tawny.  Tawny is a Tancho Showa.  A Showa, as mentioned previously in Metallica’s bio, is a "black fish with red and white markings”.  The Tancho part of the name comes from the single red marking on the head.  These fish are prized in Japan as many of the red markings are circular and reminiscent of the red “land of the rising sun” circle on the Japanese flag. 

Tawny is also a long fin.  These long fins and tails make a beautiful fish that produces some very elegant pictures because of the way these fish move through the water.  The genes that produce the long fins and tail also produce long “whiskers” making these fish the wise old men of the pond as they grow older.  In the case of Tawny, this has also produced a smaller, daintier fish as well. I love the way the long fins photograph.  Not only do they produce nice long lines, but they also produce interesting waves in the water.

While Tawny may be dainty, it still holds it own when the food appears.  The smaller size may mean Tawny gets pushed around by the larger fish, but that doesn’t stop this guy from getting in there for the food.  Go, little man, go!

If Tawny does have any faults, they are in the red markings.  The red of the Tancho markings are a little weak.  Having the red a little darker and richer would make Tawny a better fish.  The red of the Showa markings could also be improved as well.  In fact, originally the only red on Tawny was the Tancho markings on the head.  The red on the body consists of a weak, small mark near the tail of the fish.  The red color only appeared recently as Tawny grew larger than 6 inches in length, as sometimes happens in Koi.  It might get stronger, but my hope is that it disappears altogether. 
Only time will tell!

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