Return to the Pond

pond school visit

We are back at Allenheads Contemporary Arts for the concluding part of our BEYOND residency.

It was so good to find that our hydrophone rig, Terraqueous II, is still working. Our trusty rig is sending sounds from the Allenheads reservoir, back to the warm room of the North Pennines Observatory.

The pond life is a lively as ever. The sounds from the pond continue to intrigue and fascinate us. So, it was great to get a chance to have a closer look at the creatures in the pond this week.

Jill Essam from the Harehope Quarry Project and Samantha Tranter from Cold Blooded and Spineless  visited us on Tuesday with a group of 15 pupils from Wolsingham school.  After a visit to the ACA gallery and a tour of the observatory, we introduced them to our Cosmic Pond project.

Jill and Sam then led a pond dipping workshop, to which we all joined in. The pond dipping was a great way to see pond life up close.

pond dipping kitWater, from the pond, is scooped up in tray. Lifeforms are isolated by gently lifting them with a spoon. They are them placed in a magnifying jar, filled with water. Identification is carried out by using a very useful, illustrated key. Details of the lifeforms are then noted down.

It was particularly exciting to see Water Boatmen up close. We think it is the Water Boatmen making a distinctive rattling sound in the pond!

damselflyThe Damselflies are at the pond in large numbers at present. A bright blue colour, they are easy to spot. Sam showed us how to carefully hold one and to look at it up close. Afterwards, the Damselfly flew off unharmed to continue its dance above the Cosmic Pond’s surface.