I happened upon this fresh water pond while scouting for a Red-Tailed Hawk’s nest. There were no lilies in bloom at the time, but the remnants of tired old lily pads told me something incredible had happened here. Returning the following spring, I found thousands of large American Water Lily buds promising a spectacle that made my heart jump. I checked back at different times of the day, monitoring the various light conditions and water levels. When the first hundred or so buds revealed their secrets, I couldn’t wait to climb into the water. I was elated – and pruned.