Thursday, May 15, 2008

North Garden Pool cleaning this week

It is May and time for our annual (or almost annual) pool cleanings. The Sunken Garden pool was cleaned during the last show change. This week, the North Garden Pool is being drained, cleaned and repaired. We have a good system in place to empty the pools and remove the koi. The zoo aquarist directs the netting of the fish and their transport and storage until the pool can be refilled and declorinated. For this move, the koi are being held in our garage in 100 gallons tanks with bubblers. The hope is that the koi will be put back in the North Garden pool sometime this coming weekend.

This winter, staff noticed a constantly wet area in one of the planting beds in the North Garden. It seems as if the large kapok tree that was previously growing poolside may have cracked the pool edging. This was confirmed as the water level in pool was lowered this week. Another large broken area next to the Travelers Tree was also discovered. Trades staff fixed both cracks today and we hope to fill the pool tomorrow! Someday, it is hoped that the entire pool could be painted black. Maybe next year!

The trades staff also took care of another historical problem today! For many years, as toys, glasses, cameras, cell phones, rings, earrings, car keys and every other item imaginable have fallen into the pool, it has been very difficult to retrieve these items at the time they were lost. There is a deep sump pit near the viewing area where all the treasures tended to congregate. No more! A wonderful stainless steel mesh cover was placed over the large pit today. So if your precious items fall in the pool, there is a better chance you might get them back before the May cleaning!

The pool surrounding the porch area of the Visitor Center is finally full and looking ready for the marginal plantings. Watch for these stunning plantings as the weather warms up! The pool in front of Tropical Encounters is being prepared for the Victoria Water Platters. Staff were busy today adding soil to pots buried in the rocks. Fertilizer was added directly to the soil as it was placed in the pots. This will save hours of staff time as additional fertilizer, which is normally added weekly in the form of plant tablets, will not have to be added for about two months. This pool is actually heated to give the Victorias the warm temperature that is needed for their growth.

Come visit! There is always something going on here!