Tonight when I got home, I took a stroll around our property to see if I would find anything interesting to photograph.

Chimaphila umbellata

Chimaphila umbellata

I can’t remember the common name of this plant, but the binomial nomenclature is Chimaphila umbellata. It’s a type of winter green, and I missed seeing it in bloom last year. It’s almost ready to bloom now, so I’ll keep and eye on it until it does.



I caught a flash of red out of the corner of my eye and found this at the edge of the driveway. I didn’t know I had any wild strawberries there. I do know I have lots of dewberries there though, and those are almost indistinguishable from strawberries until they fruit. Dewberry fruits look just like blackberries, but the leaves and flowers look just like strawberries. Dad clued me in last year when I posted about this, that dewberries will have thorn-like hairs on the canes, while strawberries will not. But you really have to look close to see that! Let’s just say that I was totally surprised when I found this strawberry in my dewberry patch. Also, it was delicious!

After supper I decided to take a walk down to Sandogardy Pond. Beth was playing with a neighbor, and the boys were playing on the Wii, so it was just me and Penny. I enjoy walks when I’m alone, because that lets me set the pace without feeling I’m holding anyone up or going too fast. We headed for Sandogardy Pond.



When I got to the pond I found the patch of irises that grows near the dock in full splendor. Nice.

And speaking of Sandogardy Pond, back on the first of this month, I posted a picture of some oil at the edge of the Pond. I sent a photo to the NH Department of Environmental Services, and they got back to me almost right away. They didn’t think that was oil at all, but rather, an iron-reducing bacteria. I was not convinced, but they are the ones with degrees in biology, not me. Then today, I got another email from them:

Hi Jim- Thank you for the email.

Both the DES Biology Bureau and Oil Response received notice last week with similar concerns regarding potential petroleum products in Sandogardy Pond. As a result, DES inspected the site. Please see the following summary from an email response on 6/7 to Xxxx Xxxxx, another property owner on Sandogardy.


As discussed earlier today and confirmed during a follow-up site visit around 10 am this morning no petroleum products were detected at the Town Beach on Glines Park Road or along East Side Road (I met up with your neighbor, Xxxxx Xxxxxxx).

I had also forwarded your letter and discussed the issue with Ray Reimold, DES Oil Spill Response. Ray conducted a separate site inspection at 7:30 this morning looking for petroleum products but only found iron bacteria along the Town beach. He did not see any evidence of iron bacteria or petroleum products along the shoreline off East Side Road.

Please see the attached photos taken by DES this morning showing the iron bacteria and evidence of iron (reddish stain) along the edge of the pond near the beach.

In addition, please see the following DES fact sheet describing iron bacteria.

I tend to believe them a lot more when they send people out there to look at it. That’s pretty cool. I had no idea that bacteria could produce a rainbow slick.

While I was out that way with no one to tell me they wanted to go home or stay at the playground, or whatever, I decided to head down a trail that leads to the geocache Beth and I had planted in the woods near there. Penny is always willing to come along. This trail ends at a wetland which has at its center the creek that drains Sandogardy Pond. I washed the sand out of Penny’s leash and noticed some spatterdock blooming farther out:

Spatterdock (Nuphar lutea)

Spatterdock (Nuphar lutea)

I think Peterson calls these Bullhead Lily, and I have heard it called yellow pond lily too. The ones in the pond are not yet blooming, so this was a nice surprise.

I got home just before dark. That’s when I found seven ticks on myself! None had attached, so that was good. I always flush them, and poo-poo anyone who says that doesn’t kill them. Once they’re in the septic tank, I don’t think I need to worry about them any more.

What surprised me about finding seven ticks was that I had doused myself pretty good with some mosquito repellent. I took a second look at that stuff tonight, and I won’t be using it again. It has no DEET and claims only to repel mosquitoes. It says nothing (correctly!) about repelling ticks.

I changed clothes.