POTD: Views From the Pond #8

Views From the Pond #8
Bozeman, Montana
2021

Some years ago, I gathered various native grass seeds to plant on some disturbed soil. There are so many different varieties of grass and grass-like plants I downloaded an app to try and help me identify what I was growing. The main thing I learned from the app and from reading about grasses in general is that it’s very hard for a mere layman like myself to determine anything but broad categories of these plants. One thing I did learn is that there is a difference between true grasses and the grass-like sedges such as that pictured here. It turns out that sedges are easy to distinguish from grasses because “sedges have edges” per a common identification rhyme. That is, the stems of sedges are generally not round but triangular in cross-section. The easiest way to tell if you’re holding a sedge is to roll it between your fingers. If it does not roll smoothly it has angular sides and is a sedge.

POTD: Views From the Pond #7

Views From the Pond #7
Bozeman, Montana
2021

Showy fleabane, a not very classy name for a lovely little late summer and fall flower. It’s name is from Old English and refers to its odor which was thought to repel fleas.

POTD: Cement Mixer

Cement Mixer
Bozeman, Montana
2020

It’s probably been 20 years or more since I last used this cement mixer, or even moved it at all. Over the years of rusting, the water draining down the back of it has for whatever reason created specific paths to the base of each gear cog on the outer rim of the vessel. Strange. With the bright colors (somewhat enhanced on the computer) it has the look of lightning strikes.

POTD: The Beauty of Your Demise

The Beauty of Your Demise
Bozeman, Montana
2021

A closeup of some of the downy feathers on a chickadee that died somehow and was laying out by our garage.

POTD: Eavesdropper

Eavesdropper
Bozeman, Montana
2021

I was down behind our garage working when I got a phone call from a friend. I wasn’t paying much attention to my surroundings while talking to him, but at one point I happened to look up and saw this mule deer doe maybe 20 feet away listening intently to the conversation.

POTD: The Big Guy

The Big Guy
Bozeman, Montana
2021

(O.K. maybe its a big girl not a big guy, but I have a roughly 50% chance of being correct with the title.) In cleaning scum and an excess of cattails out of our pond, I discovered this previously unknown (to us) frog that is much larger than the little one we’ve been aware of for some time. Like the little one, it has a preferred spot where it likes to return every day. It’s spot is right on the edge of the pond, partially concealed by overhanging grass, which is why we had not seen it before.

POTD: Creature of Habit

Creature of Habit
Bozeman, Montana
2021

We finally got around to cleaning up our pond, clearing out about 70% of the pond scum and 50% of the cattails that were taking over. I figured this little frog I’ve seen and photographed before would still have plenty of pond scum to rest upon while waiting for lunch to happen along. It turns out that, rather than locating on one of the larger expanses of scum still remaining, it chose this little bit of pond scum that happened to get left behind from a large mat I removed. That wasn’t too surprising as, as close as I can tell, it’s the exact same position he could usually be found on when the larger mat was there. Every morning as the sun comes up, we can generally count on spotting him once again in this same place. I guess it’s his/her spot.

POTD: Thanks?

Thanks?
Bozeman, Montana
2021

Do I see a thankful look on the face of the dragonfly I rescued from the pond scum mire? Nah, I don’t think dragonflies are into gratitude.

POTD: To the Rescue

To the Rescue
Bozeman, Montana
2021

I recently posted a series of photos about an overly amorous dragonfly who nearly lost his life when he lost track of where he was while trying to mate with a female. The other day I witnessed the same thing again where a mating dragonfly ended up deeply mired in pond scum while attempting to mate. This time it was close enough to shore that I could drag him over to the edge of the pond. I carefully separated him from the hung of scum he was embedded in and placed him on this branch to dry out and recover. He struggled for quite a while to get his wings fluttering properly again but eventually took off, apparently none the worse for the wear.