Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Water or Winter Challenge (8/13/2014)

Any regular reader of my blog knows that it somewhat serves as a diary of what I do in life.  However regular readers also know that, so now and then, I participate in a challenge, in particular one from a photo blog I particularly like.  I really do not know what got in her head wanting you to post something that relates to water or the season of winter.  I have plenty of each in my arsenal, but what the heck, to celebrate this mild summer I decided to combine the two.
This picture was taken on January 22nd of this year, less than 1500 feet behind our home.  It is one of the largest ephemeral ponds (aka Grafton ponds) in the woods behind our home.  In the fall, winter and spring the ponds are typically wet; while in the summer they are dry.  In the summer the area behind our home is teaming with mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers, and to tell you the truth we haven’t gone back there since early May, and I really miss walking there with the dogs.  I guess it is time to spray myself with some poison and venture out.  I kind of feel what’s called “nature deficit disorder” lately.
These ponds are wonderful for amphibians such as frogs and salamanders.  Since the ponds dry up in the summer, they cannot support a fish population which would eat all the tadpoles, and yes the only things we see at times are a few wood ducks and an occasional heron.  So, yes they are great for these critters.  I know I have mentioned that before; but because of this, our ponds are the home of the endangered Mabee salamander. 
A few years ago I walked over to this pond every Sunday at 3 pm for two years in a row (rain or shine), to take a photograph from the same spot.  It is amazing to see all the changes that occur from week to week.  In particular the Sunday after hurricane Isabel hit our area.  No trees down, but the week before there was no water in the pond, and the Sunday after Isabel the water was easily 4 feet deep.  My wife and I are still toying with the idea of producing a picture book about the ponds behind our home.
As you can see, I miss the ponds and I think it is time to brave all the insects and go out back!


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