Saturday, July 18, 2015

Water Lilies And Pocono Mountain Ponds

Did you know that the Pocono Mountains have hardy water lilies growing on many ponds and lakes throughout the region in late spring, early summer? I sure didn't ... until this past June. I had gone to Zacharias Pond in East Stroudsburg to do a bit of fishing and was surprised, but delighted, when I saw all the pretty flowers dotting the pond. Whether they are native, or an invasive species, I'm not certain.  Yet, they were lovely.
Since then, I've done some research. I learned that common hardy water lilies are usually white, yellow, or pink. The flowers bloom only in daylight, and as night settles in, the flower petals close.  
Water lilies gently float on the surface of the water with the lily pad lying just beneath the flower.  The plant itself  has long roots deeply embedded in the soil at the bottom of a lake or pond.
        I found the white water lilies to be very striking as they drifted on the water's surface ...
                                                     but I really loved the pink ones.
 I also learned that water lilies can be both beneficial and detrimental to the ecosystems of lakes and ponds. On the positive side, they oxygenate and improve water quality by removing heavy mineral content from the water. They keep the water temperature down during hot summer months which helps keep the algae growth down. They also provide shelter for fish and other aquatic life.  
On the negative end, they can quickly overspread across large areas of lakes and ponds suffocating native plants which can seriously disrupt the ecosystem. Chemical measures can be taken to control excessive growth.

2 comments:

  1. I spent my 16th summer in East Stroudsburg! as a counselor for NYC kids...great memories.

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  2. Hi Jan,
    That must have been something. I actually grew up in Middle Village, Queens, NY. Lived on Long Island for 25 years, then moved to Florida for 2 years, and then came back north to Pennsylvania. Been here now for 14 years. I'm staying put! Happy gardening,
    Jane

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