Friday, October 8, 2021

On Water Nymphs

I patrol the watery lake by day,

Paddling through slime and algae,

Protecting the native plants,

And exposing the invasives!

This is currently how the invasive Najas minor (brittle water nymph, European naiad) looks from a kayak. It looks so flimsy - yes, flimsy equals friable, brittle, fragile. It's actually a monster in disguise! By the time it's this obvious from above, it's at its most frail state, laden with potency for shattering at the slightest disturbance. It smashes apart like a a piece of china on a tile floor, or like an exploding burst of fireworks as soon as it's touched. The seeds contained within each curved, leafy fragment float off in the current. It's a great adaptation, but difficult to manage as a non-native introduction.

Those little 'ears of corn' between the arched leaves are the seeds 

Brittle water nymph

Dispersing into fragments

Friable, fragile.

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