Duckweed and Green Herons


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I am still looking through and processing images from past  photography trips because of the COVID-19 restrictions on travel.  I found this image of a Green Heron landing in a pond in Florida.  The Green Heron is a beautiful little stocky heron with some high level hunting skills.  They actually sometimes place bait deliberately in the water to attract fish!  

You will notice a circle of yellow behind the bird which is present on the Raw file also. I considered fixing the color because it looked a little like post processing gone wrong but it is not processing at all. The plants behind the heron are very yellow and that prompted me to try and discover what that odd plant is that looks like green and yellow lentils on top of the water.  The plant is Duckweed and if it is yellow it is losing nutrients which is another way of saying it is dying.  Duckweed is a fascinating little plant. Each little “lentil” is a plant floating on the top of the water.  These little plants  are able to double their mass in 1-2 days, and they can grow just as fast at night as during the day!  Duckweed is being used in many places to filter harmful chemicals from water and many parts of the world consider it as a water purifier. Duckweed is currently being studied in Brazil as a biofuel source with the added benefit of leaving clean water behind.  The other fascinating use is to control mosquitos in still or slow moving water where mosquitos love to lay their eggs. The duckweed covers the water surface like a blanket and prevents the mosquito from reproducing!    I learned about Duckweed because of a yellow circle behind a Green Heron image.  What an amazing little plant.

sandra calderbank
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