Friday, July 8, 2016

Morning on Nippenicket

Here it is July and I've only just gotten a kayak in the water!  It was a busy few months.  I decided yesterday would be a good morning (not too hot) to catch up on the happenings at a local pond.  "Lake Nippenicket" is a mile-long pond that has it all: an interesting shoreline, a couple of little islands, lots of pond plants; the southern half has waterfront properties (I like to paddle along and peer shamelessly into people's backyards), while the northern half tucks into the wilds of the great Hockomock Swamp. Most often I noodle slowly along the shoreline, pausing to look at flowers and birds.  My boat this day was Musketaquid my twelve-foot homemade skin-on-frame kayak.

 My Merlin bird ID app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
pegged this bird pretty quickly as an Eastern Kingbird.

 The round flower heads of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

In one place the air was alive with electric blue dragonflies damselflies doing what dragonflies are meant to do.  Several pairs rested on my paddle blades--even refusing to move when I began to dip a blade in the water.  (Several shallow strokes left this pair unimpressed.)  I didn't get far until they finally decamped. 

Whoops!  I just notice these kids have their wings folded over their backs, rather than 
outstretched like an airplane: that makes them damselflies rather than the related dragonflies.  
They look like Northern Bluet damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum).  
(Mind you, all I really know about damselflies is the name of the group!)

 They can even fly in the act of mating!

Soon after leaving the damselflies behind, the air filled now with dragonflies!  A dozen mated pairs flew about, many repeatedly dipping their abdomens in the water (likely laying eggs)--while flying in tandem!  None rested on the boat, so all I could see is that these were a medium golden-brown color. 

 I quietly chased this mama mallard and three ducklings ashore
in an effort get close enough for a picture.

I like to imagine living in these places, with their varied ways of enjoying the pond.

 White water lilies (Nymphaea odorata).  Floating leaves are nearly round.

 Yellow water lilies (Nuphar advena).  Floating leaves are more oval, and larger than white lily.
 One of the little islands.

 white water lilies line the shallows.

 Passage between the mainland and a small island was a squeeze even for a little kayak.

 The water level in the pond is a bit low for this time of year because it's been so dry.  
The water ranges over about a foot of depth.  

This was the first time I noticed the hollow in the top of the rock.  It has its own tiny ecosystem.

I paddled back a little before noon, very happy with my morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment