That Sinking Feeling, Islands in the Stream

A tussock island in a wildlife garden pond

Just this past August 2013 when I think it was its most beautiful

Just this past August 2013 when I think it was its most beautiful

My tussock island is gone from my wildlife garden pond.  I wrote about its arrival two years ago in September 2011, a phenomenon of nature that I shall never forget.  Now I have a Kenny Rogers/ Dolly Parton song whirling in my head.  Ok, my body of water isn’t a stream…it’s a pond…but I can almost hear a frog chorus…

Islands in the pond that is what we are
No one in between how can we be wrong?…

This bronze frog had a last visit recently

This bronze frog had a last visit recently

With the turtles diving and chiming in with their best imitation of the Zac Brown Band

If you really wanna know where you can find me
I’ll be unwinding
Down in the islands, down in the islands…

The cooters started arriving once there was an island paradise

The cooters started arriving once there was an island paradise

And down the tussock island went in my wildlife garden pond.  It slowly sank over December, leaving me sad but hopeful.  You see it disappeared in November 2012 a little earlier than now, but our temperatures have been unusually warm this December, breaking weather records several days recently.

I noticed it taking on water

I noticed it taking on water

It was slowly sinking on December 17, 2013

by December 17, 2013

And facing the gate

And facing the gate

The tussock island returned in spring 2013 to my wildlife garden pond, I’m not exactly sure when, but return it did, to bring a vast array of new fauna to my garden. I know it was there in May when the Green Heron was scouting fish from its shores and a Cooter turtle took up residence.

The Green Heron

The Green Heron

Then there was the time that an Alligator was sunning himself.

Alexander quite enjoyed the solitude

Alexander quite enjoyed the solitude

I had a new species of spider set up shop on the yellow-eyed grass and sedges that grew.

On a good note, the wildlife garden pond now looks HUGE to me.

When I first discovered the tussock island in my wildlife garden pond, it was a bit of a shock, and my first thought was “how do I get that thing out of there”.  Now?  It became one of the favorite elements in my wildlife garden, a rookery of sorts.

My first sighting of the tussock back in 2011

My first sighting of the tussock back in Autumn 2011

In October 2012 the grasses were extremely tall

It evolved and in October 2012 the grasses were extremely tall

The first time it sank was in November 2012. The only sign of its existance was the tops of the deadening grass peaking out from the underwater grave

The first time it sank was in November 2012. The only sign of its existance was the tops of the deadening grass peaking out from the underwater grave

At this point, what concerns me the most is that the spider sacs are just touching the water.  I’m not sure how they will fare, but Mother Nature must have some reason for this sink or swim capability, so I’ll just continue to play along and see what happens in the future in my wildlife garden pond.

Lush grasses took hold (August 2013)

It re-emerged in Spring and lush grasses again took hold (August 2013)

Now, I’ll have to “get my country on” praying that Bonny Tyler’s prediction doesn’t come true:

Goodbye to the island
Hello to the rain
It’s gone like a dream in the night
And it won’t be back again

December gone to the underwater grave again

December 2013 gone to the underwater grave again

© 2014, Loret T. Setters. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

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Comments

    • says

      Thanks Ruth,

      the spiders in question are suppose to be ok with aquatic adventure, time will tell. The first I ever heard of a tussock was when this thing “popped up” back in 2011. I hope you are correct that it will come back. It sure is a fun thing to bring in wildlife activity. :)
      Loret T. Setters recently posted..Elliot Before and After

    • says

      Hi Kathy!

      Hope my singing isn’t off key ;) I am so very grateful for my pond. I always loved “fresh” water, had a summer home about 4 blocks from a lake, lived on a dirty lil creek as an adult on Staten Island in NY, and upon arrival in FL found a home that backed up to a retention pond and conservation area. When I found this plot, the thing that sold me was the pond. Water is so calming, no matter how small, it still provides for wildlife somehow. As always, thanks for your kind comments!
      Loret T. Setters recently posted..Elliot Before and After

  1. hdmzen says

    My islands and bladderwort all sink when it gets cold. They usually come back when it warms. Love this blog! Thanks!

  2. Cindy says

    The tussock is dead! Long live the tussock! Aren’t the vagaries of nature marvelous?..You get to watch continents rise and sink in your universe.. I’m betting too, it will be back.. Long live the tussock..!

    Little Miss Muffet
    Sat on a tussock
    the tussock then sank away
    Along came a spider
    who said “I can ride her”
    So the tussock came back to stay

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