There were snails fully engaged in eating all the dead debris around the iris in the pond because winter had made the iris’s life fade away — at least until spring comes again. The snails are a great waking up food for the turtle brumating in the same cold water that was just barely warming up a little now that spring was getting closer.
“Hello Buster,” the lady pulling the iris apart said to the turtle lurking in the water, slowly waking up with the warmer weather and water and coming out to bask whenever her still-stiff and somewhat sleepy body was able.
Buster didn’t say anything back because Buster is a turtle and hides because she is a pond slider and it is her automatic inclination to race away from humans or anything big lurking around making any kind of movement.
Here the lady was with her hand in the pond fetching the huge iris clump out, taking the food away — the snails. She put it right back in once she realized that turtles like to eat the snails that are eating the dead debris and that the little lumps all over the iris were, in fact, snails.
Before she put the iris with the snails back in the water, she pulled it apart to make it possible for more irises to flourish so more snails could come along to eat more dead debris next fall and winter while Buster slept and then there would be plenty of snails for Buster to eat when she woke up again the next time.
In the mean time, as more irises grow and cover the pond the slider slides into to hide, the shade the proliferating irises make once they grow green again in spring, keep algae from growing as much as it normally would when there is also lots more sun.
Turtles don’t like algae, so it seems, but snails do a little and they especially like the dead debris the dying irises leave. It’s a good thing because as it turns out, the turtle likes the snails quite a lot — so, therefore, the more irises, the more dead debris, the more dead debris, the more food for the snails to eat. The more food for the snails to eat, the more snails there are and that leaves as may little snails as a little turtle can likely ever find enough time to eat before she goes back to sleep.
Image credit: The Mystery Pond In Japan Looks Like Monet’s Paintings