I talk a lot on this blog about the enclosed sustainable ecosystems of Mezzacello. That is a partial truth. The fact that the ecosystems I incorporate here end at my property leaves me (and my animals and ecosystems) vulnerable to “outside” threats. That is not the way nature works. She is used to all of the world relying on everything else. Yes, in nature there are threats, predators, extinctions. But in a maintained ecosystem those threats, predators, and potential extinctions often occur from other ecosystems.

Case in point: the ducks, the pollens, and the fish. We keep koi in our pond. They are pretty, great nitrogen fixers and they eat and metabolize algae well. But the transitional time between winter and spring can be hard on the koi. Temperature, fetid water, various pollens, pathogens and duck poop take a toll on the fish. In a more accurate ecosystem the water would be replaced and the pathogens would be easier to control. We don’t have that luxury. So we have to INTRODUCE diversity into our ecosystems. In this case, it is a bacterial additive that helps the fish fight parasites and funguses. These come from the ducks. These two animals live in adjacent but independent ecosystems.

As the alpha animal at Mezzacello it is incumbent upon me to keep these ecosystems in balance. I have to learn what to look for, how to diagnose, and then how to manage threats. Last year is was a fungal blight amongst the flowering shrubs, bushes, and trees. This year it’s duck poop and vulnerable fish. Most times I can balance these systems. When I can’t count on balance, I science the hell out of it.

mischief managed.

[/media-credit] Koi pond at Mezzacello

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