Last year around this time Jacob and I went out in the canoe and found some water pickerel seed pods like these half -submerged in swampy water in one of the backwaters of Beaver Lake. I drew them from the canoe, but couldn't really see much detail. Today I was walking around the bird sanctuary that abuts the backwaters of the lake, and just beyond the boardwalk I spotted some of the same kind of pods, only they were on a mound of dry land a few feet back from a stream. There was an informal path coming from a gap in the boardwalk fence leading right to the mound; the pods on the mound seemed doomed, so I gathered a couple to bring home and study.
I surely miss Jacob, who has always been ready for any adventure. He, of course, is having far greater adventures this year than I am. Last week his host family took him to Venice, where he got to see and photograph the Doges' Palace, San Marco, and the Venice Biennale!
Meanwhile these pickerel pods are fascinating. I split one open so I could see the collection of pea-like seeds. I may return them to the backwater tomorrow but put them in a wetter location so that they have a chance of sprouting next spring.