Adventures on Fish Ponds

The water was high because of many small dams, often possible to get over while sitting in the boat, the others not usually too much of a problem either. It still took an hour to go the half-mile before I was on Lower Fish Pond partly because of taking time to look at the flowers (all natives, a rare and wonderful situation these days) and to figure out what the small dark duck was.

This involved taking off my life-vest and the put-on-backwards net shirt (duh) so I could use my binoculars effectively. She obliged by swimming back and forth, chirring agitatedly the while because her young were in the sedges calling to her.

I managed to get a really good look at her before she flew back to them. White-eye ring, solid jet-black bill, raised feathers on top of head, but back at the house nothing fit the bill (is that where that came from?). The bill on a ring-necked duck is supposed to have a white ring, but it had to be that. They are always a treat as they are not very common.

The lower pond had the same pH as Upper but it was loaded with buttonbush, usually thought of as a higher pH indicator. Sometimes plants have a mind of their own.

There was one tiny peaty island covered with bog plants-rose pogonia, pitcher plant, cranberry, bog buckbean, sedge. Most of the rest of the watercourse was lined and filled with typical marsh plants, including swamp rose, verbena, steeplebush, meadowsweet, swamp milkweed, one spectacular white water lily, and big areas of yellow water lily, mostly beheaded by beavers.

The fog against the ridges was lovely, the sounds only those of the birds that belong there, including the "Hic, three beers" of the three olive-sided flycatchers, good to see as they are declining most places. Not even small planes disturbed the wildness (they had more sense).

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