Under cover

Photo and text Kaido Haagen, kaidohaagen.com
Translation: Liis
 Under a solitary branch stump the perch /Perca fluviatilis /, nicely sized but wintertime lethargic, feels securely hidden, surrounded by the rainbows created by the shimmering sunshine through the only ice-free patch of water on the lake.
Although the greater part of living nature manages its doings in an aqueous environment, much less is known of life below the water surface than of above-ground life. Most people know even less about what is happening in water bodies when their surface is covered by an icy lid. In the Äntu Sinijärv, ranked as Estonia’s clearest lake, life at a first glance seems to have stopped. In the wintery +3 degree water only some solitary snails and caddisfly larvae clamber around among the scanty bottom vegetation. A patient observer however can encounter much larger creatures.
In March the frogs in the water seem dead. At best they move in slow-motion. Several of them are easily visible on the bottom due to their bluish colour.
At the shore edge a solitary pike /Esox lucius/ roams around under the ice cover.
First signs of the arrival of real spring. The cracks and holes in the ice cover hint at  a soon-to-come liberation from months of ice imprisonment.  




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