Canal Weeds

canalweeds.jpg Could someone well-versed in the flora and fauna of Mid-Atlantic waterways please tell me what the heck these weedlike plants are reaching up from the depths of the C&O Canal in Georgetown? They are freaking me out with their resemblance to rotting zombie hands.

(Photo by Russell Heimlich.)

7 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on August 30th, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

    Saw them yesterday after lunch at Rugby…no idea what they are besides creepy.


  2. Mike (unregistered) on August 30th, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

    They get really thick as you go west down the canal. They do look creepy, but I’ve noticed that fishies like to swim around in them.


  3. MBFan#2 (unregistered) on August 30th, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

    I used to work near the canal and this vegetation has always been there. One time it was so thick, I wasn’t sure if the boat was going to be able to pass thru. It looks like some kind seaweed or seagrass.


  4. Bex (unregistered) on August 30th, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

    aren’t they Inferi?


  5. Don (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

    I thought for sure I’d find them in the aquatic weed page but nothing quite matches. They seem closest to coontail but are too gnarled.

    http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/aquatics.htm


  6. poo poo (unregistered) on August 31st, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

    i used to live right off the canal, on cecil place. i’d run the length of the canal in winter and summer (not the whole thing, just 10 miles or so out of g-town).

    they’ve always been there. i had never thought twice about them, maybe because i saw them every summer/fall.

    they’re just c&o canal weeds.

    what’s more interesting are the wild strawberries growing on the adjacent pathway, or the snakes that dangle from the trees. or even the turtles that snake in and out of those apparently horrifying water weeds. i’ve even watched some fish jump in and out amongst the ‘zombie hands’.

    funny to see someone notice them in contrast to all the other cool stuff the canal has going on.

    each to their own perspective, i suppose.

    speaking of which, i was in the state of virginia the other day, and i saw a rabbit in one of those suburban developments. i thought that was wierd.

    do they have permits to hang out in arlington? do they take the metro from west virginia? i was pretty stupified. i guess folks in the burbs have a bit more to their daily existance than strip malls and fake farmer’s markets.


  7. Chip Py (unregistered) on September 4th, 2007 @ 11:45 am

    This is aquatic vegitation. They grow naturally. There has been a massive increase in the growth int he canal and the river the last ten or fifteen years as more people are using more lawn chemicals and fertilizers. Twenty years ago Scotts told us to fertilize once a year in the fall. They now tell us to fertilize four times a year, five if you really want a nice lawn. This mixed with all the people using services like chemlawn has caused a problem in our rivers, lakes and even the canal because the plant growth is now out of balence and is in competition for oxegyn with the fish and other species that live in the water.

    Thank about that next time you fertilize.

    Chip Py
    http://www.globalwormingtea.com



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