Yes, the leaves are now off the trees, but we still wanted to share this beautiful fall day romp we had around the pond. Now we need to get down to the business of staying warm!
The ponds in our neck of the woods are bursting with plant life this time of the year.
Lily pads and algae have grown across the open water, so much so that the water critters have forged paths through them.
Cattails and lizard tails line the edges.
And these yellow sunflowers that we didn’t have Miz Fora along to identify are prettying up the edges.
It’s nice to see a pond with good healthy plant cover across and around it! Lots of space and food for wildlife to live and access the water.
I headed over to the big pond today, accompanied by Miz Flora. Because of that dear, plant-loving squirrel’s presence, her–I mean, our–attention was drawn to the purple flowers of the Pickerel Weed, Pontederia cordata. Now this common pond plant has been blooming all summer, with its stalks of tiny purple flowers, and I…*ahem*…must admit, Ol’ Wally here was not inclined to include it in our weekly posts about water in nature.
Miz Flora had other ideas.
And so we leaped over to see the pickerel weed up close.
Several little skippers were fluttering over the flowers, dipping in to gather the nectar of the many flowers. Well, that is nice, I thought, something Nutmeg would certainly like for the blog. I followed along behind Miz Flora, admiring the flowers as she chattered. Then, before our eyes–WHAM!
A praying mantis darted from the stalk and grabbed a skipper. The poor thing had no chance to escape the wicked barbs of its front feet and was devoured within a minute. The body, at least, not the wings, which the mantis let flutter into the water…
I had no idea viewing flowers could be so dramatic, and said so.
“That’s nothing,” Mis Flora said with a dismissive flick of her tail. “Not for nature.”
This old squirrel will be retiring to his drey for a rest and reflection on how lucky he has been to survive all these years.
Folks, it’s been dry this fall. But this old squirrel, with his comfortable suburban life knowing which houses have a birdbath or backyard pond the humans keep filled, had no idea the local natural waterways were faring this poorly.
Yikes, that is low for our local pond.
We haven’t had a freeze–ha, far from it!–so the place was still abuzz with insects, like this male Autumn Meadowhawk.
Despite finding the pond in less than its best state, I’m happy I took the outing while our weather is balmy.
Hello, folks! Ol’ Wally stepping in here for Nutmeg. I couldn’t let her use anything but water for today’s Blogging From A to Z Challenge. First, because it’s Thursday, and our regular readers know this is the day this old squirrel runs the Thirsty Thursday column featuring water. And second, we’ve had so much rain in these parts that it’s getting a bit hard to ignore.
‘Suppose you humans know how important water is. I mean, your lives depend on it. So do ours, but we wildlife aren’t in as good a position to keep that water source clean, or even there. We are relying on you all.
That means good planning when you put in your buildings…
to where that water goes from your parking lots…
to putting in places where the smaller critters might have a damp home…
to bigger solutions for water cleaning and recycling for entire buildings…
to simply putting out water when it isn’t raining, like in the heat of summer…
or the frozen winter.
It’s not from a squirrel, but let me leave you with this wise Native American proverb: