The pond. This time with the pond dipping back pack. A pond visit is the perfect way to end our school year and kick off the summer. The fine young gents waded and splashed and dipped for minnows. The weather was perfect, warm with a light breeze. We spent four hours at the park in the glorious sunshine, dipping in the pond, then across the bridge to wade in the canal and feed the ducks.
Silvery minnows. A few water bugs. Snail eggs. A water skipper. A live dragonfly nymph. An intact exoskeleton, which we brought home in a tiny vial of water so that we could see it under the microscope.
A Poohsticks-style picnic under the weeping willow. (Poor gents had to listen to this for an hour: "I stopped to see a weeping willow, Crying on his pillow, maybe he's crying for me...." Name that tune.) A typical picnic lunch--I fill the water bottles and throw everything I can find into a reusable grocery bag and a lunch cooler, and off we go. We ended up with hard-boiled eggs, ham, cheese, leftover bagels with sunflower butter, dried apricots, and a dish of strawberries from the front yard.
Dragonflies. Giant red and blue ones, and smaller dragonflies with striped wings. Damselflies, too, like tiny flying jewels.
Birds. The tree swallows are fascinating, the way they swoop and dive over the pond.
We remembered a container of grains for the ducks, and were rewarded by a visit from Mama Duck and four fluffy ducklings. The gents were fascinated, and managed to sit still for quite some time so that the babies would come close to the bank. The water was clear enough that we could watch the ducklings diving and swimming under the water.
The great blue heron that has circled the pond a few times on previous visits finally decided that we're not too scary--or that he was too hungry to wait for us to go away. Herons are such stately birds, lovely when they fly, slow and regal wading in the water. They nest in a tall tree near the pond, and we see them often at the pond and around the canal. This bird watched us cautiously as he stalked the opposite edge of the pond, but the gents were still and quiet so he decided to stay.
Poohsticks, of course.
We came home tired and warm, inside and out. It was a lovely afternoon.
Life is good.