This murder would be less of a mystery if this fish had just disappeared altogether because that would mean it had met its maker via something logical like a blue heron. The body of the dead fish was found lying on the bottom of the pond Thursday afternoon while blood spatter and scale remnants were found on the top of the skimmer. My best guess is a raccoon clawed the fish but before being able to enjoy his dinner, the fish was able to wiggle free and escape back in only to die later from blood loss. Rest in peace little guy - try swimming a little closer to the bottom of the pond in your next life.
The other three fish were hanging out under the bridge where they think no one can see them.
On a happier note, the Escallonia hedge (Escallonia x exoniensis 'Fradesii') has made a quick recovery after dying to the ground last winter. At some point I hope it will realize it is supposed to be a hedge and not a perennial.
This Acanthus mollis (Bear's breeches) has been in flower for well over a month, and at over 6' tall, has never looked more stunning than it does right now. The flower spikes are very similar to foxglove. Unlike a foxglove, they are very long lasting.
Finally, this Purple elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) has certainly grown better than I expected (from a 1 gallon pot to over four feet tall in four months), but it is a mere shadow compared to its potential height of over 10 feet. So I am going to divide it up and over-winter it, with the hope of seeing it in its full glory next year.