The Open Water

Many of the creatures mentioned in the previous section can exist further away from the bank. However they prefer the cover provided by the emergent vegetation. Plant life, further out, is more sparse. On the surface float the tiny circular leaves of Duckweed, carried about, by the movement of the water’s surface. Other entirely aquatic plants are not free-floating. Various pondweeds are rooted on the bottom, but produce rosettes of leaves on the water surface. Yellow Water Lily does something similar, pushing its huge yellow flowers above the water and producing brandy-bottle shaped fruits in early autumn.

insectsFlies and other insects constantly fall onto the water surface where they become trapped. As they struggle they are likely to be consumed by other insects that roam the surface in search of prey. In some places, hundreds of small black-looking beetles can be noticed, spinning about on top of the water at great speed, yet never seeming to bump into one another. The Whirligigs as they are known often gather just under canal bridges and it is here that they may be seen most easily in quantity. Water Skaters (or Pond Skaters) row themselves along on top of the water by means of their disproportinatly long legs, again searching for unfortunate creatures that have been caught in the surface film.