I am no expert when it comes to identifying insects, and I believe this one in particular would pose difficulty for me as it does not appear to be a full-fledged adult, and most field guides show illustrations of adults. I may post it to Bug Guide later.
I took this at Sandogardy Pond today. Beth and I rode down their on bicycles today, and I had Penny on an extended leash (which presents its own set of challenges). When we got there, Beth saw other kids swimming, and she immediately regretted not thinking to bring a swimsuit. She suggested that we turn around, don swimsuits, and then return. I thought that was a fine idea, so we made a U-turn and went back to the house.
I did not change clothes other than trading my hiking shoes for paddling sandals. Beth suggested that we drive rather than ride bikes, and since I was pretty winded from biking, I gave in. We left Penny at home too.
Even though I wanted to do a little wading myself, I decided to wear jeans. I just don’t like shorts, plus it spares the public from being blinded by my super-white legs. When we got back to the Pond, I waded in looking for bullhead lilies and maybe some floating hearts. But I found this first:
Broadleaf Pondweed (Potamogeton natans) is a new one to me. It was not in any of my Peterson’s Field Guides. Instead I found it in Aquatic Plants & Algae of New Hampshire’s Lakes and Ponds, by Amy P. Smagula and Jody Connor. It was a free publication of the NH Department of Environmental Services. In fact, Jody Connor was the one who emailed me back about the iron bacteria in Sandogardy last week. The publication is in the form of a downloadable PDF. The nice thing about that work is that it is nice and focused. And the broadleaf pondweed was in there. However, the photos are not the greatest, so once I had a candidate species name, I checked in with Wikipedia, and they do have some very nice photos of the plant. That’s what I call a positive id.
I did find a bullhead lily (Nuphar lutea) while I was out wading. The big ones were out in deeper water, but this one was big enough.
I guess I caught this one before the bugs found it. The inside of a bullhead lily blossom is almost always crawling with little insects. But not today!
Meanwhile Beth was having a blast swimming. She was pretending to be an alligator, and she was going to eat me! Eeek! I did the only thing I knew to do – took a photo!
I somehow managed to get away and found that the little patch of wild strawberries near the beach had lots of ripe strawberries. Since this particular alligator has a weakness for strawberries, and since she was obviously famished with hunger, I called her over.
After a careful inspection of the bounty, she dove right in:
While the alligator satisfied her hunger on vegetarian fare, I continued looking for blooms. These irises were growing near the dock, and they had a visitor:
After taking a few shots of that, I found that I was being strafed by a dragonfly – this time a full-grown one. I still have made no attempt to identify its species though.
There are lots of blogs out there with dragonfly photographers whose work far exceeds mine. I don’t expect to match their work for a very long time (if ever).
While I was out wading, I collected some leaves from the pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). Peterson says that the leaves can be chopped and added to salad or boiled for ten minutes if they are collected before they fully unfurl. Well, they still looked a little “furled” to me, so I collected about one servings’s worth. I also collected a bit of wild mint (Mentha arvensis). I opted to boil the pickerweed (since it did come from a pond full of swimmers, etc, I figured that would be the safer route). It didn’t come out so well. My teeth were unable to reduce the fiber to anything less than a wad of string. Since I have no rumen, I spit it out and decided to try again next year when the leaves are even more furled than they were today. Problem is, the water is colder then too!
I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do with one little mint specimen. So I gave it to Penny. She sniffed at it and took it in her teeth, and then she did the most surprising thing that caught us all off guard!
She dropped it on the floor and began to vigorously rub it into her ruff! I have seen her to that was far more objectionable odor-giving substances. Usually it’s something that drives me to give her a bath post-haste!
Penny, you did good this time!