Monday, July 07, 2008

Pond and Spatterdock

Yesterday was blisteringly hot and humid, and there was a fine haze over everything like silvery organza. The air shimmered in the heat, and it was filled with wild flyers: dragonflies, damsel flies, butterflies and the inevitable hungry biters that haunt field and stream in July. The native yellow pond lilies (Spatterdock or Nuphar polysepala) were in full bloom, and the surface of the pond was quiet, ripples forming one after another around the blossoms and moving outward in slow honeyed circles - that is just what the water looked like yesterday, honey or perhaps maple syrup.

Whether or not one is standing in shade here on the edge, it always seems a little cooler, and that is probably why I like the place so much in high summer, but the pond is equally delightful in late autumn when the lilies have disappeared and all that remains are forlorn stands of withered pickerel weed and russet lily pads floating free.

There was no heron in residence yesterday which is what (or rather who) I had come to see, but there were scores of little green frogs sitting on lily pads in the center of the pond, and there was a single blissed out water snake sunning itself languorously nearby. It was one of those days which one wishes could last forever, but the summer solstice has come and gone now, and our northern days are already growing shorter. Strange as it seems on such a day, we are coasting gently toward autumn, my favorite season of all.

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