Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Duck Weed Blankets Abound

See that thick carpet of green.  It is about four to five inches thick! 

It can fool dogs into thinking it is grass and they try to walk on it, without success. 

Small song birds can land on it and sit there just fine.

Small sticks can rest on it with out a problem.

It really does look like sculpted carpet.  In fact, my folks had some like this in our house in the 1960's. 

This a living and growing carpet made up of millions or billions of little plants called duck weed.

This tiny, rounded leaf plant floats on the water surface and resembles a mass of young cress plants.

They multiply rapidly and quickly fill any open surface of slower moving water like ponds and canals.

Weed-eating water birds, such as ducks, moorhens and coots will feast on it.  Chickens also enjoy it if harvested and given to them.

Duckweed is an important high-protein food source for waterfowl and also is eaten by humans in some parts of Southeast Asia.

It contains more protein than soybeans and is thought to be a significant potential food source to help feed the world's hungry.
Duckweed is also being studied by researchers around the world as a possible source of clean, cost-effective and renewable energy.  

Duckweed is a good candidate as a biofuel because as a biomass it grows rapidly, has 5 to 6 times as much starch as corn, and does not contribute to global warming.

Duckweed is considered a carbon neutral energy source, because unlike most fuels, as it grows it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Duckweed also effectively filters contaminants such as bacteria, nitrogen, phosphates, and other nutrients from bodies of water, wetlands and waste water.

If a mat of duckweed is maintained on bodies of stagnant water it controls the breeding of mosquitoes.

 Who would have thunk.

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