Duckweed at Crabtree Nature Center, Illinois

December 11, 2020

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Photographer: Dale Hugo
Summary Author: Dale Hugo

Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills, Illinois has several ponds this one, the Sulky Pond, is covered with duckweed fronds, a fast-growing, aquatic plant. It spreads by clinging to the feathers of migratory birds and can quickly cover a small pond. It's not pond scum or algae. And yes, the ducks love it. It provides cover for fish and amphibians, but its role in oxygen production isn't that useful. Many view it as a pestiferous plant. Cold weather will quickly kill it off, but next year it'll be back growing quickly in late summer into the fall.

This scene also shows the branches of a dead oak, marginal water plants, and the beginning of fall colors.  A 1.4-mile (2.25 km) trail encircles Sulky Pond. Note that Crabtree covers over 1,000 acres of natural, glaciated terrain that's being restored to its pre-settler glory. Photo taken October 8, 2020.

Photo Details: Camera: Samsung SM-A102U; Exposure Time: 0.0007s; 1/1337); Aperture: ƒ/1.9; ISO equivalent: 40; Focal Length (35mm): 27