At the time of the year when green is beginning to leave the palette of the forest, I was still able to find this eye-opening splash of it in the pond at Roundrock.
This is, of course, the duckweed that blankets the top of the pond. It’s an annual visitor each spring and summer, and more likely, it never really goes away at all but lurks in some protected place all winter to re-establish its riotous population growth in the spring each year. In February the surface of the pond is clear and blue, but by July it sports various shades of green as the floating colonies of duckweed grow and swirl and meet to shut out all sunlight reaching the other plants in the pond.
You can see how thickly the individual plants have grown because they are able to trap bubbles of air beneath them. If I stand very still beside the pond, some of the frogs that leapt into the water at my arrival will return and poke their little heads up from the green. Often, they will have to blink their eyes several times to clear the duckweed. (At least that’s what it looks like they’re doing. Do frogs have eye lids?)
It is likely that by this time, most or even all of the duckweed is gone from the surface of the pond. A few cold nights is all that seems to be required to slay the stuff and send it sinking to the bottom of the pond (where it joins the loathsome goo, I suppose).
- Juncos arrive from Canada.