Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Voyage of the Pond Yacht

Sure, it looks like a banged-up, leaky little paddle boat. But it's really a transport ship to another world.

When we discovered this thing abandoned at the back edge of the pond, the guys laughingly christened it "the pond yacht" and the name stuck. Hubby dragged it into the pole barn for the winter. For weeks now he's been lavishing time, epoxy, and paint on it. He even built a little dock for it.

Given that most of the pond is about two feet deep, I didn't see a lot of future in the project. Shows what I know.

A few last adjustments to the paddles last Sunday, and it was launch time.

Boarding was tense. The boat wasn't attached to the dock, and I'm not as quick as I used to be. I wouldn't have thought I could still do a split, but the idea of submerged snapping turtles directly under one's derriere is highly motivating.

There's nothing like changing your point of view for opening up your perceptions. Move just a few feet in a new direction and voila. New things to see.

For instance, this forest of water plants I'd never paid attention to before.

It's a native plant called water-dragon, or lizard's-tail for its curled flower spike. Photos of it online show arching white plumes of flowers, which I assume these green curls will become.

It contains medicinal alkaloids, which Native Americans used to treat inflammations. It provides shelter to aquatic life and when it decays it becomes part of the food chain.

Hiding among the water dragons are big green frogs, invisible from the shore. It looks like more are on the way, too, given the number of legged tadpoles in the vicinity.

The green stuff on the water is duckweed, tiny floating plants. It's pretty in small quantities, but we'll have to start straining it out or it will take over the whole pond.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how much there was to see out there in our pond, and at how easily the intrepid little paddle boat handled in very shallow water. Now all we need is a better name for her.

Click here to see more Nature Notes.


Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is a lovely posts !! Loved the photographs and enjoyed reading it..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

NicoleB said...

It looks a bit like a very uncomfortable bath tub, but it obviously works perfect and I am a tiny bit envious :D!
Lovely pics. Love the froggy with the "balloons" :)

Char said...

Nice pictures! And, I like the name Pond Yacht!

Sherrie said...

Wonderful photos and story. It's amazing the things we see when up close. I think Pond Yacht fits your little paddle boat, it is your yacht on the pond! Have a great day!!


Carletta said...

Oh, no don't change her name. Pond Yacht is perfect and unique.
Love these green shots Vicki!

A really nice Nature Notes post.

ROSIDAH said...

What an exciting voyage! Isn't it great to see all these pleasures of life with a little change of perspective. Taking a closer look at the pond was so lovely. Thank you. Have a wonderful day :)

MyMaracas said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

And maybe you're right about the name. "Pond Yacht" it is.

I was hoping to add more pics from around the pond, but they came out pretty blurry. It takes all of 30 seconds to paddle from one side to the other, but it's surprisingly packed with plants and critters.

ramblingwoods said...

Now I need a pond yacht..I love it. And I love all the vegetation that you have in the pond that makes it more healthy. I would like to put some just in our area and then work to keep it just in our area as I know it can spread...Love the yacht. I suggest becoming 'pond pirates'

MyMaracas said...

Pond pirates! Arrrrr!


What a super idea!

Carver said...

This was a wonderful post. It is like another world out on the water. You got some great shots and I enjoyed the narrative. I had to laugh at your split to board.

dAwN said...

Nice...What a great you can explore you pond! Thanks for the info on the plants.
Oh I have a name for your boat,Explorer.

Terri said...

Wonderful discovery! I thought it was a Jacuzzi bathtub at first! LOL! How nice to get a new perspective on the pond. And that dragonfly photo is outstanding.

Deb said...

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon ~ out on the Pond Yacht. Great pictures. And I am sure the next time you go out for a ride you will see many different things. Happy Sailing.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is my idea of awesome - a secluded little pond with lots of things to look at and a little boat. Terrific pics too!