Sunday, 23 August 2015

Oshawa Second Marsh
August 22nd, 2015

I was curious to see the current state of the Wild Parsnip along the berm in the marsh. I was happy to see that it's been dealt with. The weeds on the berm and to either side have been cut down and perhaps sprayed as well. Or maybe it's just the time for Wild Parsnip to go to seed. In either case, you can now walk the length of the berm unobstructed, without being concerned that you may brush up against the offending weed. 

Any tall yellow flowers you see along the berm now are mostly Goldenrod. The parsnip is mostly brown.

 





























The parsnip is taller than other plants along the berm.














Himalayan Balsam has spread much further along the berm than in previous years. Over the past few years I've noticed that various species of plant take their turn at dominating the berm.















Bees favor the balsam blossoms.





















They climb inside the blossoms, exposing only their bottoms, which led to someone coming up with one of the common names for the plant—"Bee Bums".




















Joe-Pye Weed is spreading too.















Wild Cucumber is now blooming with its star-like flowers.


















Cormorants in a quiet spot in the bay.
















They're easy to make out as they fly, with their sleek profile.














I used to push through growth to get a better shot in a case like this. Now, often as not, I get what a can from an easier vantage point. It does at least show that there are lots of Cormorants in the marsh now.










Water Lilies in the channel by the berm.















The lake was quiet today other than a bit of push-back here into Farewell Creek.















Silverweed on the beach, with its yellow flowers & bright red runners.
















Purple Loosestrife is scattered throughout the marsh. We do have quite a few invasives but some of them are pretty. Of course they're only invasives from our point of view. As far as nature is concerned, they're just some of her visiting plants that are doing well in our area.
















Caught for a while.




















Farewell Creek always looks quiet. It is flowing into the lake but you can't tell unless you see it at the lake.

Milkweed blossoms are gone. The pods will be ripe and open before long, spreading their fluff-laden seeds on the wind.





















Thistle fluff.



















Gates still limit access to some areas but they're hardly necessary now. Nature is doing a good job of hiding the paths on her own.




























Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot if you prefer) is entering the 'bird's nest' stage.
 



Eye-catching swaths of color.














Maybe I'll catch some Touch-Me-Nots at the popping stage this year. Jane & I did a few years back but we haven't since.


















Not sure what this is but the leaves are large and a rich green—almost looks sub-tropical.





Chicory will always be one of my favourites. There are still a few in the marsh.
There's a look of fall in the marsh. Summer is slowly slipping away.


- 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...



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.

http://www.durhamregion.com/community-story/5739665-pickering-boy-11-burned-by-toxic-wild-parsnip/

http://www.kingstonregion.com/news-story/5738594-dangerous-wild-parsnip-growing-rampant-in-eastern-ontario/ 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/renfrew-woman-sherry-steeves-badly-burned-by-invasive-wild-parsnip-1.3145694

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 -




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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