Mountain View Koi Club
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President's Message

Mountain View Koi Club Pond Tour 2013

Splash from Toad Mountain Park

By Verne Gilkes
December 2013

In June of 2013 members of the Mountain View Koi Club had the pleasure of participating in a water garden and pond tour hosted by the Greater Ottawa Water Garden and Horticulture Society "GOWGHS". We had the pleasure of many different water features to amazingly manicured gardens. There were Koi Ponds overlooking the Ottawa river in the heart of a small wooded area that was most pleasant on a very humid day, we all wanted to stay at this pond for the rest of the day, but then again so did all the other visitors to this pond , started to get crowed, so we moved on. In the small back yards we found little streams running under the walkway winding around small manicured flowerbeds.

Then there was the huge back yard that had many different shrubs and a simple fountain with a copper dipper. Here, there were the bluest flowers we had ever seen, they were magnificent. We then visited a beautiful koi pond in the middle of a grove of trees. Red cushions on a white chair in the secluded corner of the garden was an enticing spot to just stop and read for awhile but couldn't ,didn't have a book.

These gardens were well designed where the concentration was on flowers and shrubs and where there was a pond some Koi were added for interest, whereas in a koi pond tour, Koi are the primary part of the garden setting.

Later in July 2013 ---------the G O W GH S called Verne Gilkes of The Mountain View Koi Club asking if they could visit some of the Koi Ponds. Always eager to show the koi of our ponds, a tour was set up for August 8th 2013

August 8th was a heavy overcast day with the chance of rain any minute, the group arrived in Vankleek Hill and met at Beau's Brewery where we started out for Carol's pond. This pond is a 4000 gallon water garden pond filtered by a retrofitted bottom drain feeding a Cyclone Filter System in conjunction with the skimmer and bio falls system. This pond has a beautifully designed stream coming from a hill ten feet above the pond, the water gushes between the rocks as it tumbles into the pond containing many beautiful koi one of which is a 29 inch Long Fin Yamabuki Ogon.

Koi Valeigh the home to Leigh and Karin's Koi
From here we moved on west to Koi Valeigh, Leigh and Karin's Koi Ponds, Here we have an amazing koi pond overlooking the farm meadow where baby lamas added to the tour. Back to the koi pond Leigh has a group of Sanke and showa that certainly add a flash of color to his koi pond. Everyone enjoyed the koi and the lamas. This was also the head office of Moad Mountain Enterprise a koi and Pond Supply Company operated by Verne and Leigh, some of the tour members would return later for their koi fix for their own ponds.

On to Edna's Pond, last stop before lunch, this pond is a five foot deep pond secluded in the corner of her garden of many flowers. Edna's koi are very striking with two exceptional specimens, a 28 inch Sanke and a brightly coloured Kujaku with a beautiful matsuba marking over its scales. The cloud cover has increased and is starting to sprinkle so we take a Nicko's lunch break.

With lunch over and the sun chasing the clouds away we move onto Honore and Jeanne D'Arc's pond. This is a secret pond location hidden in the back yard with an impressive Kumonru with her jet black body trimmed by snow white. She is the highlight of the pond along with Honore's Asagi recovering from a tumor operation in February.

Moving on to the second last pond, Pat and Alan's Koi Pond, koi should be viewed from above the pond and this pond is perfectly located beside the back deck which is four feet above the pond. From here you view the koi as they frolic in the pristine water while playing with their Glass Floating Balls. Each pond has a special koi and here we have a long fin platinum ogon called Angel. She certainly is the highlight among the other koi as she is so visible in the pond. Pat is a gracious host and explains the operations of the filter system. Here the flowers and grass condition is the envy of most gardeners with no weeds and always trimmed just right. Here the gardens and the koi share equally in the highlights of this pond and garden.

Onto Toad Mountain Park the home of Verne and Paula's Koi, where Paula has set out Hors d 'Oeuvre for the touring guests with a splash of wine. Here the guests are seeing a true specimen of Living Jewels which is how the Japanese refer to their Koi. Verne and Paula have many different varieties of koi giving the splash of color in the pond. When Verne and Paula designed the pond they wanted more water action in the stream so they added double waterfalls.

Verne presenting the money to Brenda Godmere of the Andy Gump Foundation.
There was no fee for the Pond Tour however there was a donation basket set up at Verne and Paula's pond. The donations were for the Andy Gump Foundation. You are probably wondering why the foundation is called The Andy Gump Foundation. Andy was the son of David and Brenda Godmere the founders of the Foundation. Andy Gump was their son's nick name before he passed away in a car crash in 1996 just short of his 15th birthday, this is the path he started upon and he continues to be the inspiration behind it all.
The Andy Gump Foundation is involved in Guatemala, building schools where there have been no schools and no chance of any education before. In one rural indigenous community, three young people, two boys and a girl started into high school three years ago and were joined by two others last year- the very first from their community to ever have gone to this level of education.

At the end of the day the funds donated totaled $250.00 by the 22 members of the GOWGHS members, this was very much appreciated and it will certainly go a long way to continue the work of the Foundation in supporting the School Projects of which there are many. Calendars are available which explain the many projects and their locations in Guatemala.