9.20.2009

On The Pond Again -- Finally!

It has been a long summer and not once during June, July, or August did I dip a paddle in the water. Oh, the horror of it!! Knowing that I needed desperately to get a little canoe time in, Treebeard loaded up the Tripper and we headed for the pond. The trip takes all of three minutes ;)

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Here's a shot of the new, butt-ugly boat ramp that has been put in. Needless to say, you won't be seeing anymore shots from this angle in my header...YUCK!

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Ah, a little soothing balm for the soul...yep, it's a green treefrog, freshly emerged. See his little stub of a tail?

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Growing at the base of the same tree was this Ludwigia. The bright and happy yellow flower was blissfully unaware that just beneath it...


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...this Banded Sphinx caterpillar was munching away on the leaves of the plant. There was another caterpillar of the same species nearby, but it was a totally different color. Unfortunately, my photographing-things-from-a-moving-canoe skills are a little rusty and the picture was too blurry to use.

We couldn't stay by the boat ramp all day, so we headed out onto the lower pond. The duckweed has been particularly heavy this year and it requires a bit of work to paddle through.

A little open water here and there was greatly appreciated. In parts of the pond the duckweed cover was pretty much solid.
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Some of the trees and bushes out in the water are starting to hint at the coming change in season. In another few weeks the tupelo will be golden, the cypress will turn russet, and the host of little hardwood trees and shrubs that colonize the stumps will be arrayed in reds and yellows.

Duckweed or no and butt-ugly boat ramps not withstanding, this pond is still one of the prettiest places I know. I'll be back later in the week to share some pictures from the mid and upper pond and the swamp. But for now, go out and flip a rock if you've got any. It's International Rock Flipping Day. Just be sure you put the rock back the way you found it!

8 comments:

jason said...

How beautiful... It looks so serene and peaceful, like the cypress swamps in East Texas by our family farm. I'm sorry you hadn't gotten out there over the summer--I can see how that would cause major withdrawal symptoms.

And a treefrog? Wow! I never saw that coming...

swamp4me said...

jason,
The first time I saw the millpond back in 1978 I fell in love with it. Thirty-one years later it still soothes my soul and recharges my batteries.
One of these days I'm gonna count to see how many green treefrog pictures I have and put them all in one album ;)

sweet bay said...

That pond is a beautiful place. We have some Water Tupelos in the sloughs near the creek, will have to see if they turn color this year. Some years they turn a brilliant shade of red.

swamp4me said...

sweet bay,
Here it's the swamp black gum (Nyssa biflora) that turns red. The tupelo gums (Nyssa aquatica) all turn yellow.

Anonymous said...

Swampy- Glad you got back on the water! I am becoming curious about finding catepillars in my environment, but I'm sure they won't be as beautiful as the ones you've photo'd. As for putting all you green tree frogs into one folder, you better reserve at least a week of indoor, at the computer time to get this job done! as I'm sure you have millions. Maineiac

Ellen Rathbone said...

Glad you finally got the boat in the water! I was out yesterday as well, on a perfect late summer/early autumn day - couldn't have been more spectacular weatherwise. A friend and I paddled across a pond to a bog. No rocks to turn over there, but we did poke around the moss quite a bit.

Randy Emmitt said...

Saw the first photo and knew it was merchant's Millpond. Enjoyed the post it has been about 4-5 years since I visited there.

swamp4me said...

Randy,
The pond does tend to leave a lasting impression!