Stop 9: Hidden Treasures at the Pond
Walk The Trail:
Map of Nature Trail

The pond was formed from a melting chunk of ice left behind in outwash sands and gravels by the last glacier about 10,000 years ago. "Kettlehole" ponds such as this one are common formations across the coastal plain of eastern New England, Cape Cod, and islands like Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. In the 1950s, this pond was dredged to create a deeper pool.

 
Needham's skimmer

The pond provides habitat for many animals. Rare Spotted Turtles (Clemmys guttata) and the more common Painted (Chrysemys picta) and Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), as well as several species of snake, make their homes near fresh water. With close observation, you will be able to find many small and unique animals, including aquatic insect, crustaceans and mollusks. Of the 30 species of dragonflies and damselflies recorded on Nantucket, 18 have been seen here. The large, orange, coastal dragonfly known as Needham's skimmer (Libellula needhami) can occasionally be seen resting among the shoreline vegetation,bluet damselfly while the familiar bluet damselfly (Enallagma civile) prefers to stay low, perching on emergent rushes out over the open water.

 
The eastern forktail damselfly

The Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis) is another beautiful damselfly. The male, pictured to your left, is green with a light blue "tail light", while the female is orange

 
insect eggs on a leaf blade

In the vegetation at the edge of the pond there are many other species of insects. Peck's skipper (Polites peckius) is a butterfly that must be approached slowly in order to get a close look. If you look carefully, you may also find insect eggs attached to the leaves of the marsh plants.

 
 
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Back to the start of the trail Harbor and Barrier Spit Stop 3: Beach Erosion The Ospreys Mowing and Succession Stop 6: How Plants Reproduce The Tangled Web of Vines Plants by the Pond Hidden Treasures at the Pond Wrack Lines at the Beach Folger's Salt Marsh

     The Nantucket Field Station Virtual Nature Trail is a joint effort of the following departments: Biology, Computer Science, Earth & Geographic Sciences, and ECOS. UMass Boston Home Page

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