After a day of writing an essay for Harrisburg on the burqa and my encounter with same at Kirby Park, and then seeing a rip-roaring debate over it break out on my Facebook page, I could fip my figurative burqa off and get back to doing what I do best: boring the poop out of people with weird outdoor pics, but pics and info I find fascinating: my little cosmos of one.
And so this week I’m concentrating on things right at our feet, our right at the pond’s edge as the case may be, as it is here.
So, first we look at the the green “scum” we see all over ponds, the little green dots that come together to form huge mats.
It’s duckweed of course, and it’s one of the simplest seed plants. This picture shows duck weed on a pond. I focused from perhaps 3/4 of an inch away so this gives a different look to what is normally seen as tiny, tiny, tiny anonymous green bumps.
As the pic at the top of this post shows, duckweed is the world’s smallest flowering plant. As such it bears seeds which, as you can imagine, ain’t huge, and flowers, which are rarely seen.
The pic is of duckweed on my fingertip. You can see the leaves — or fronds — and the single (or sometimes two) root or root hair protruding from each frond. Nature in miniature, complete and total, as mighty as the mightiest redwood or largest whale. Nature rules, both large and small.
Duckweed has 1 to 3 leaves, or fronds, of 1/16 to… 1/8 inch in length. A single root (or root-hair) protrudes from each frond. Duckweeds tend to grow in dense colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. Often more than one species of duckweed will be associated together in these colonies. Duckweeds can be aggressive invaders of ponds and are often found mixed in with mosquito fern or watermeal. If colonies cover the surface of the water, then oxygen depletions and fish kills can occur. These plants should be controlled before they cover the entire surface of the pond