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The ditch by the house
- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: The ditch by the house
- From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
- Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 20:37:56 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <200108251948.f7PJm5c18289 at actwin_com>
- User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
Strained my ankle all to hell and decided to take a bike ride to get out and
about today. I founded a great flood control ditch along a bike path about
20 feet across and several miles long that ran right along the side of the
path about a mile from the house. I was in heaven. Smartweeds and duckweeds
lower down by the richer run off due to agriculture, the classic azolla
upstream in lower NO3 waters and lower PO4 (but no duckweed where it's
growing), Chara all over, at least a dozen species/genera of algae, a number
of Rushes, the Giant rush on down to some Eleocharis, a number of things I
couldn't figure on, some water cress. Some weird little yellow flowering
plant that I couldn't get close too(yet). I did not spot any Echinodorus but
I suspect it's there. They love this type of ditch. It was interesting to
note where certain plants grew and where certain ones did not. Algae as
well. There was decent water flow and the optical clarity was very high.
Depth was about 6-12inches. I guess the length was about 3 or 4 miles total.
It emptied right into the ocean, about 2-4 feet above high tide level. Many
folks would consider these weeds and in ways they certainly are. But I saw
it as a nutrient removal machine that's extremely good at what it does.
A huge effective plant filter cleaning the water before it goes into the
ocean. Weeds are good in some instances. But it would make a good study area
for stream ecology for algae and plant competitions along with aquatic weed
ecology. The rainy season is very short here so this "Noah's Ark" flooding
cycle comes and goes fast. It washes everything out to sea and the cycle
starts all over again. But since it's disturbance short this allows most of
the time for a "plant war" for nutrients and access to light etc.
Fish life was explosive. As was the egret, mallard duck and great blue
heron populations. The creek chubs/minnoiws were teaming in high mass.
Spotted a number of gold recessive mutants in a few schools. Damn, wish I
had my net and bag. But it's just right down the street. I'll be back(with a
bag this time).