Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Algae Bloom

I drive or ride my bike past this pond nearly every day.  Recently, the whole surface of the pond was covered with an algae bloom.  That has to do with warm weather.  I thought that this was bad for a pond, but then I went to the Penn State website and learned something about these algae:
"Pond Algae: It's Not All Bad!  While long strands of filamentous algae are unappealing and have little value to the pond ecosystem, some other types of algae can actually provide important benefits to the pond. Planktonic algae are microscopic algae living throughout the water.  While plankton algae blooms occur in response to warm and sunny conditions in the summer, the algae growth is supported by high levels of nutrients in the water (most often phosphorus and nitrogen) that may come from fertilizers, manures, septic systems, urban runoff or animal waste entering the pond.  These blooms usually disappear in early fall around the first frost, causing the pond to clear up very quickly - often overnight."

In any case, the algae makes for interesting photographs.  The first photograph reminded me of how some galaxies in the night sky look through my telescope.  And the lovely swirls in the photograph above are quite beautiful.

This is how much of the pond is covered by the bloom - nearly the whole thing!  What a surprise to see how quickly the algae covered the whole pond.  Perhaps I hadn't noticed, but it seemed to happen overnight.


Anonymous said...

I've seen this algae bloom in the water along the rail trail. It is a beautiful shade of green and there's always life in it-frogs, tons of turtles, and ducks. It's really a sight to see. Nice photos. Trace

Ken Spencer said...

Thanks, Trace! Fun to hear your experiences with one of these algae blooms.