This spring we noticed numerous small bright yellow flowers in our pond. We debated what they might be, and finally got around to actually going and picking one out of the pond. It wasn't any of the plants we thought it might be. Instead it turned out to be a Bladderwort!
Bladderworts are very interesting plants. They float on the surface of the water, and their small bright yellow flowers appear on erect stems above the plants. The plants submerged branches contain air spaces which allows the plant to float. What is easily mistaken for roots are actually numerous submerged leaves that have small 'bladders'. These plants are carnivorous and the bladders are used like a vacuum to trap very small aquatic animals for food.