The cormorant really seems to be making itself comfortable on the pond, which I am sure glad to see. This morning, he or she was on the usual branch in the southeast corner but facing west for a change so we can see the nice pale neck and chest plumage and one big webbed foot. Soon after I took this photo, it was back to fishing.
Two readers already asked what fish it caught yesterday, and my best guess is a big ol’ goldfish. The pond is big enough, and they are hardy enough to survive the winter there. When the lighting is right, you can see schools of them feeding near the surface of the pond, although they are a little more skittish than the bluegills, so my pictures aren’t so great.
The cormorant wasn’t even the only bird fishing on the pond this morning. Perhaps this is the same young great blue heron we’ve also been seeing recently. It was at the north end and took off while I was still focusing on the cormorant at the south end.
Speaking of tasty critters in the pond, you may be as surprised as I was to still see tadpoles this morning. I first saw one back in April, showed you a picture on June 4, and another picture of one with legs on June 23. That’s quite a breeding season they have, eh?
Right across the parkway from the pond, I spotted this new blossom on a low plant, perhaps waiting for the sun before fully opening. It it known by a variety of names including flower-of-an-hour, flower-of-the-hour, bladder hibiscus, bladder ketmia, bladder weed, modesty, puarangi, shoofly, venice mallow. The ancient Latins called it Hibiscus trionum, and the names mentioning an “hour” are due to the blossom only staying open for a few hours.
The Pedia of Wik reports that “the flowers of the Hibiscus trionum can set seed via both outcrossing and self-pollination. During the first few hours after anthesis, the style and stigma are erect and receptive to receive pollen from other plants. In the absence of pollen donation, the style bends and makes contact with the anthers of the same flower, inducing self-pollination.” That sounds handy, and as soon as I post this, I’m going to head back out to see if I can capture an image of it open.
Finally, let me leave you with this nice picture of a monarch butterfly on some burdock blossoms that I took a day or two ago but didn’t have room for until now. Sometimes I get lucky, eh?