It has brought to my attention the beautiful differences between plants in my cove that I had not really been 'seeing' fully up until now. Knowing what to look for, and how to differentiate between them, has opened up a whole new world for me. I can now count 23 different native species in my lake - and I haven't exhausted all possibilities yet (there are so many reeds and rushes!). Thank goodness, the only invasive plant thus far is Variable Milfoil, in my combing for which,
I wade through textureless silt,
Lifting like powder, without form.
A cloud billows around me
... and visibility is lost.
In the process of learning to identify new aquatic plants, I've also, unfortunately, recorded the presence of the invasive Chinese Mystery Snail - not a good thing, and the first record for our lake. In 5 weeks, 13 individuals have been found in our small cove. This snail is 1.5 times the size of Maine’s
largest native freshwater snail, and produces a large number of offspring.