catching up with the local pond

I didn’t know when we bought this house that I would be getting a local pond as part of the package, and I count myself very lucky.

The pond is about a mile from our house, with a paved path encircling it that is about 2/10 of a mile around (it’s a small pond). I’m not sure if it was human-built at one point, or if it was natural. It collects storm water from the main road nearby, and it has a run-off ditch itself, that flows into the nearby creek, which allows it to maintain a constant depth. There is a small island at one end of the pond, where the Mallards nest and the resident Great Blue Heron resides. There aren’t any swallow nesting boxes, a common sight in other ponds like this one, but there are a couple of stakes with netting clustered around them that the turtles use as sunning spots.

Today, a flock of Canada Geese was hanging out, with a lone white goose among them. It could have been a Snow Goose, although we couldn’t see any black on its rear (and from what I could tell, its legs looked slightly more yellow than pink). If not a Snow Goose, it was likely a local domesticated escapee, possibly a Ross’s Goose; it was plenty windy enough last night to have blown over a small goose hutch.

We also saw a single turtle sunning itself on the grass at the edge of the pond. I didn’t have my turtle book with me, but I did bring my little binoculars and was therefore able to see the red patch on the side of its head quite clearly, marking it as a Red-eared Slider (I discovered after looking it up at home in my field guide). It’s a non-indigenous, invasive species locally, but I still enjoyed catching sight of it.

I’m thinking that I should start a turtle lifelist as well, since this is the third new type of turtle I’ve seen at the pond. The first, Mud Turtles, are common, I’d just never seen them before. The second was a Snapping Turtle, which was an exciting find. It took me a while to register that the rock behind the turtle was in fact the shell, and the ‘turtle’ I’d been seeing was only its head.

I hope to get my digital camera repaired soon, so that I can take photos on my visits to the pond. One of these days I’ll stay until dusk, and hopefully catch a flock of geese taking off.

catching up with the local pond