5 Ways to Take Care Of Our Lake
One of the many amenities that make Thurston Groves a beautiful community is our retention pond, affectionately called Thurston Lake. By maintaining its care, we keep it from looking like a retention pond and more like a lake with its natural habitants of koi fish, cormorants, egrets, Ibis, moorhens, ducks, turtles, armadillos, possums and yes, even an occasional visiting otter. Other fish include Mosquito fish (Cambusia), Bream, Bass and Catfish.
However, to accomplish this, the Board of Directors, Management Company and our homeowners need to follow the following helpful rules:
- Please do not release any aquarium fish in the pond or drains. The street drains lead directly into the lake. There can be harmful, unintended consequences that could “unbalance” the natural environment if one introduces outside species.
- When you see trash, bottles or other debris on the common ground or shoreline, try to dispose of them in a trash bin.
- Report any damaged trees or shrubs throughout the common area (lake, front and rear entrances, 102nd, and Ridge Road.
- Per our covenants, no wading, swimming or boating is allowed on the lake.
- Only Thurston Groves homeowners and their guests are allowed on the common ground shoreline. Please ask others to leave.
The Critters of Thurston
Heron, sometimes classified in the Egret family. In Thurston Groves, we have both. The most common hunting technique is for the bird to sit motionless on the edge of or standing in shallow water and wait until prey comes within range. Birds may either do this from an upright posture, giving them a wider field of view for seeing prey, or from a crouched position, which is more cryptic and means the bill is closer to the prey when it is located.
The gangly Double-crested Cormorant is a prehistoric-looking, matte-black fishing bird with yellow-orange facial skin. Though they look like a combination of a goose and a loon, they are relatives of frigatebirds and boobies and are a common sight around fresh and salt water across North America—perhaps attracting the most attention when they stand on docks, rocky islands, and channel markers, their wings spread out to dry.
Egrets are members of the genera Egretta or Ardea which also contain other species named as herons rather than egrets. The distinction between a heron and an egret is rather vague, and depends more on appearance than biology. The word “egret” comes from the French word “aigrette” that means both “silver heron” and “brush”, referring to the long filamentous feathers that seem to cascade down an egret’s back during the breeding season.
Mallard ducks are a common visitor to our lake and can often be seen head dipping or completely upending in the water (dabbling). They rarely dive though, spending their time near the surface and dabbling for invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and a variety of plants. They also graze on land, feeding on grains and plants.
Thurston Lake contains at least two Koi fish. The word koi comes from Japanese, simply meaning “carp.” It includes both the dull grey fish and the brightly colored varieties. What are known as koi in English are referred to more specifically as nishikigoi in Japan (literally meaning “brocaded carp”). In Japanese, koi is a homophone for another word that means “affection” or “love”; koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship in Japan.
Moorhens are territorial during breeding season. The nest is a basket built on the ground in dense vegetation. Laying starts in spring, between mid-March and mid-May in N hemisphere temperate regions. About 8 eggs are usually laid per female early in the season; a brood later in the year usually has only 5–8 or fewer eggs.
The Cottontail Rabbit is highly adaptable and thrive in practically all Florida habitats except dense forests and swampy areas. Rabbits are active mainly at night, but can often be seen feeding at dawn and dusk, and sometimes during the day when the weather is cloudy. They eat grasses, herbs and leaves.
The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. It makes its home in a burrow near the water’s edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. Otter abodes feature numerous tunnels—one of which usually allows them to come and go from the water.
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