[photo by Gary]
I have been an avid water gardener for the past 15 years or so. My "pond" is kidney-shaped, some 20' long , 4-5' wide,and up to 3' deep. It is inhabited by a stable population of approximately 20 goldfish and 5 koi of various sizes, shapes, and colors (some of which are discernible at the base of the waterfall above). I have a wide array of flowering plants in the water garden.
My circulating pump is in the main pond, and sends water up to an upper level small circular pond (some 3' in diameter and 1' deep). From here, as pictured above, the water runs out a short spillway and creates a nearly 2' high waterfall. The waterfall is at the end of the main pond furthest from the pump, so that gives the system a circular circulation (how's that for alliteration?).
I want to highlight the plant to the left of the waterfall: Parrot Feather, in close-up below.
It's a feathery plant of trailing stems, delicate in appearance but tough in actuality. It can grow either on the surface of the water, or as a trailing plant above the water. It's both beautiful and hardy, and grows rather quickly. Mine overwinters--as do all my water plants--in pots sunk to the bottom of the pond.
The link to Ultrarunning is that in contrast to some of my other water garden plants (e.g., water hyacinth, iris, pickerel rush, cattails) which I do sometimes see along streams or wetlands as I run, I have never seen Parrot Feather in the wild. I suppose I could look it up to see where it comes from, but for now I'll just enjoy the mysterious beauty of this plant.