I had early work this morning, and when I woke up, it was cold! Frosty cold! Hard to believe that it’s late April and just a couple weeks ago we were sweating our way through a bunch of 90-degree days.
Look at that frosty grass!
As I walked down to the pond, I saw this incongruous sight in the Morningstar back yard: the dogwood is in bloom, as is the red azalea. The peach trees have lost their flowers and fully leafed out. And some soul in the house has lit a fire because it was below freezing this morning.
So what was I doing at the pond? I met up with a crew of visitors, got rakes for everyone, and raked the edge of the pond, which had become all encrusted with grass, dead plants, algae, and muck. In Virginia, a pond is an inherently unstable ecosystem. The course of nature is to turn a swimming pond into a muck pond, then into a swamp, then into a meadow, then into a forest. So I’ve got to put a certain amount of effort every year into thwarting nature. I was planning on taking an “after” photo of the spot below once I had raked it, but got distracted.
While raking muck out of the pond, we discovered (and disturbed) lots of pondy wildlife; several frogs and newts and this little snake fellow. At first I thought it might be a baby copperhead, but one of the visitors pointed out that the shape of the head was wrong to be a copperhead. I wasn’t so sure, but either way we flicked it back into the water and it swam away.