May 9, 2020

Just yesterday, there was snow.  We’ve had snow in May this year, more than once.  There is much indignation.

But snow does not impede life in the pond.  Water moderates all.  Sunlight penetrates the water and energizes the plants in the shallows whose roots have waited all winter.  Their new growth is not merely underway, it has begun to reach the surface.  Their leaves will set up shop in the sun, absorbing all the light they can, making new leaves, new stems, new flowers, and new life.

IMG_7754They don’t have to reach up far, but reach up they do, to greet the light.

Lily pads reach the surface, spread out and bask.  They take in air on the upper surface, unlike nearly all other leaves, but that’s where the air is.  They support the air spaces in their leaves with big, spiny, wicked-looking cells that act as scaffolding.  And their veins are tough, splaying out and keeping the leaf flat on the surface.  Adaptation.

Emergent plants rise above the surface and stick up into the air.  And into the sunlight.  They have to have tough stems to deal with the water surface when it gets rough in the wind.  Their stems are tough.  Adaptation.

IMG_7753They all send flowers into the air, beautiful flowers coveted by botanical gardens for their pond displays.  Brilliant colors rising out of the muck.  The metaphors are endless.  And insects covet the flowers up there above the water.  The insects pollinate the flowers.  Adaptation.

All this happens quickly before the leaves and stems get chewed up by physical wear and tear and by animals that like to eat plants.  Impressive.

And today, it’s breaking the surface for a new season.