the big picture and the small
This looks pretty gross, doesn't it?Well, there's a little more to the story than meets the eye. I included the tire in the above picture to increase the sense of abandonment and the trashy aspect of the green over the pond. This just looks like an expanse of nasty algae filled water that nothing could survive in.
The close-up picture below shows that the pond's not choked with algae, but with Duckweed. While duckweed can also be bothersome, it's a great source of protein and doesn't choke out aquatic organisms the way that algal blooms can.
This particular bit of water is a somewhat stagnant area off of Beaver Creek near Apex, NC. The creek supports a wide assortment of life including, as you might guess from the name, beavers. I went there trying to get pictures of the beavers since I'd heard that you can make money on the Internet from beavers shots. I did find two, but the two I saw were never close enough for me to focus on quickly enough. With my 12X zoom all the way out it was too difficult to find the fast moving beaver and they were moving in and out of the trees; underwater more than they were above. It was nice watching them awhile tho. I'll tell you, there's nothing like wet beaver to make you appreciate nature. And given how many trees were gnawed at the bottom, there must be plenty of those toothy rodents in this area.
This creek is about a mile in from the entrance to the Apex portion of the American Tobacco Trail in the middle left part of the map below. The creek is part of the runoff from the Jordan Lake basin so it's never dry.