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.
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