Verdant

I know it looks disgusting, but the camera lies (sort of).

At this point in a warm summer the ponds turn green. It’s partly the reflection of the surrounding trees, but it’s also because of the algae.

This can sometimes create toxic blooms, in which case it’s best not to drink a lot of it as you swim. At the moment – contrary to that murky image above – it’s more like a cloudy emerald. At least when the sun’s out. When it goes in, it’s more, ahem, olive.

At last the place is chirruping with new life. The grebes have hatched at least one chick which spends its time on its mother’s back, either resting on the nest or paddling proudly around. I also saw three fluffy moorhen chicks. Of the 15 ducklings I can confirm only one has made it to healthy adolescence. He has the look of a survivor.

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