Saturday, 25 July 2015

Oshawa Second Marsh
July 25th, 2015

A pretty hot day but it was cloudy so not bad overall. The first thing I spotted was some Chicory—one of my favourites.

If you look closely at its blossoms you'll see that they attach to the main stem without a stem of their own.
More gates have cut off more access to Ghost Road Bush.
Himalayan Balsam—aka Poor Man's Orchid, etc.

Since access to Ghost Road Bush is limited, I just walked down the berm to the lake today. It's about a mile and mostly sun-bathed, so there's lots of growth along it.

The white stuff on the left is Sweet White Clover. I think we were told as kids out west that it was called Pig's Weed. But that was in a galaxy far, far away and long, long ago so maybe not. The low-growing yellow flower on the other side is Bird's Foot Trefoil.

Named for it's resemblance to a bird's foot. I suppose. But it looks more like a jumbled blob to me.

Thistle fluff
A Red Admiral butterfly. Looks a bit beat-up.
Not much of a shot but I like to get shots of butterflies other than the classic, perfect spread-wing ones we usually see.
Check the shot below. Wild Parsnip (the tall yellow one) is rampant in Ontario this year (see links below). Wild Parsnip is dangerous & poisonous and it should definitely be avoided! It's effects are worse than Poison Ivy, according to some.

To be safe don't go near any weed that looks like this.

Wild Parsnip is invading Ontario big time this year according to these recent links. Check the video in the 3rd link.

So add Wild Parsnip to the growing list of things to try to avoid if you're out & about in nature in Ontario. Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, ticks that cause Lyme disease and Giant Hogweed are already on the list. And of course Poison Ivy has been on the list forever. 

I expect more & more people will just stay out of the woods and nature areas. Sad but understandable.

Red Soldier Beetles on the suspect plant. It's hard to find any of them that aren't feeling amorous. According to the web it also goes by the name Hogweed Bonking Beetle. They say it's a fairly recent resident in Ontario but I've seen them for a few years now, especially on Queen Anne's Lace...

... as here.

The bee/wasp on this thistle has a beak like a bird. Some bees do have them. Or is it a leg?

Field Bindweed

This is Bouncing Bet (love the name)—thanks John.

The petals slope backwards.

This is where Farewell Creek enters Lake Ontario. The lake was pretty quiet.

A gaggle of geese with a few swans mixed in was pretty well it.

Farewell Creek is quite wide but it empties into the lake through a channel only 10 feet or so wide—today at least.
I saw a Great Blue Heron earlier but not until it heard or saw me and was well on its way to somewhere else. This one was far enough away that it could care less about me.

Milkweed blossoms—especially pretty when you catch them as an almost perfect ball.

Joe Pye's name (an Indian healer they say) lives on with this plant named after him... Joe-Pye Weed. The story is that he used it to cure fevers.

Geese were flying in small groups from the bay to a field to the west.

The closer you are to the lake, the heavier the growth is on the berm. This was on my way back. The sky got dark and there were rumbles of thunder in the distance. It sounded far enough away that I didn't rush.

Doll's Eyes on Dogwood

The way I happened to catch this flock looks like a mix of birds and large insects to me.

A lone pair enjoying some quiet time in Farewell Creek, away from the crowd down at the lake.
My last shot of the day—almost back at the car. Some Queen Anne's Lace stretching out over the berm (from Ghost Road Bush) to catch some sun.
The summer growth is explosive. Mostly green, but lots of color mixed in too.

- fini -

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Oshawa Second Marsh
June 25th, 2015

Rain showers were predicted but the light looked good for nature photography, so I went down to the marsh. I'd just put on some repellent and it started to spit. Judging by the sky I didn't think I'd get too wet under the canopy of the trees, so I pressed on. I did end up getting a little wet as the rain stopped & started, but not enough to worry about. 

Parts of the boardwalk are closed so it was a fairly short visit. Rather than climb over the fence at the Beaver Pond, I did the right thing and turned around. It's the first time since I've been visiting the marsh that this side was closed off. Nature takes her toll.

But enough of it was still open to make the visit worthwhile. When it's been a few weeks since I was at the marsh, I really just want to see what changes I might spot. As always, there were a few.

Cow Parsnip. It's quite tall so it makes a nice border on the path.
It looks good in the woods too.

Ghost Road Bush is mostly shades of green now. The rain makes things look even greener.

A Mayapple patch.

There's still some Wild Phlox (Dame's Rocket) around.
But its time is coming to an end.
Land Snail

'Snake Spit' — our name for it as kids. It's foamy bubbles from a Spittlebug.

If you separate the spittle you might find a spittlebug larva—a small green worm. If not, he's moved on. They're everywhere this time of year.


Wild Rose

Bees get most of the credit for pollination, but some flies contribute too.
A few of nature's tangled bouquets.

The Bedstraw reminds me of Baby's Breath that we put in our bouquets.

Daisies are still a favourite of many. The yellow blossoms are Bird's Foot Trefoil.

Looking like fall. Heaven forbid.
These Egrets were a few hundred yards away. Best I could do with my lens.

They're well away from where any humans can approach so they get to enjoy the marsh undisturbed.
Swans joined the party.

A lousy result but I like the pose.
I wanted to confirm that the boardwalk was closed from the other side too.

It was. This gate looks more permanent.

Bird's Foot Trefoil. Its blossoms look a little odd—to match a rather odd name. On our way to St. Catharines, we saw tons of it along the 407.

I've taken this shot many times over the few years that I've been visiting the marsh. It's taken from near the bridge in the above shot. Almost too much growth to make it interesting. It reminds me of overgrown rivers I've seen in jungles in South America.
This is what it looked like in winter a few years back. Not long after I got this shot, I started taking the scene through the seasons, so I have quite a selection of images of it. It's changing though. Part of the tree on the left has collapsed as the creek bank eroded. You can see it in the shot above (fallen in the water) if you look closely—with the image enlarged—just click on it remember.
And here we are — almost the end of June.

- fini -

The Friends of Second Marsh web site...
A direct link to a map of the paths/trails in the marsh...

A link to a page that has my past posts re the marsh, in one place rather than scattered throughout this blog...

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