Monday, 30 May 2011

2nd Marsh -- May 30th, 2011

The beautiful blue, sunny skies beckoned me out yet again. I actually went to Samuel Wilmot Nature Area first since it was another area I hadn't been to in a long time. I was disappointed though. It's about the least interesting nature area around here to my way of thinking. It's close though (near Newcastle) so I thought I'd try it again.

There are a gazillion Dandelions there and a few wildflowers. It does offer not a bad view of Lake Ontario but even that's not the best. I did grab a few shots tho.

Dame's Rocket is out now-- aka Dame's Violet.

Where Wilmot Creek meets Lake Ontario.

A misty view along the lakefront...
Starry False Solomon's Seal-- Thanks John.

White Baneberry-- Thanks John.

So... to make the outing worthwhile, I went to 2nd Marsh on the way home. Though Samuel Wilmot may be a good spot for Newcastle residents to walk their dogs, I couldn't help but feel the contrast when I entered the marsh at Ghost Woods. 

There's so much more variety and the trail from Ghost Woods to the bridge over Farewell Creek is a feast for the eyes in my view. And as a bonus, the tree canopy offers shade from the hot sun.

At this spot, the Wild Geraniums and everything else in sight was covered with white petals that had fallen from a tree above.

I can't get over how fast things change at the marsh. These plants have shot up since I was there not too many days ago. They're crowding the boardwalk in several spots.

What's a day without a shot of some fungus? :-) 

 I saw a Weasel (Marten? Mink?) on the boardwalk but in the second it took me to get the camera to my eye he was gone.

I was a bit luckier with the Beaver at the Beaver Pond. First I saw bubbles, then he surfaced and I had time for one shot and he was gone. Not a good shot but a shot nonetheless. Maybe he'll be a little friendlier the next time I see him.
I always get a kick out of seeing wildlife that you don't see often. It would be even better if they were kind enough to pose for me but I guess that's too much to expect. :-)

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...
- fini -


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Stephen's Gulch Conservation Area -- May 28th, 2011

It's been a long time since I made it up to Stephen's Gulch, not because it's far, it's less than a half-hour from town. Jane joined me today for about a 4 mile hike around it.

Update: Some have been asking where Stephen's Gulch is. Here's a couple links...
The easiest way to get there is to go east on Taunton about 8 miles (?) and then south on Bethesda Rd for less than a mile to Stephen's Mill Rd. The entrance is signed.

This one has a link to Google Maps for the Gulch...

As I always find, each area seems to have a different mix of wildflowers, along with some of the usual suspects.

There were 100s of Trilliums there but I think we found the only two late bloomers. All the rest had shriveled blossoms.

Even when they've lost their blossoms though, their leaves are still striking.

The creek that runs through the Gulch.

Water Strider-- These guys fascinate me. They live on the surface of quiet water and yet don't break the surface. Surface tension is enough to hold them up.

Water Strider on the surface and his shadow on the creek bottom.

Starflower-- another beauty.

This is another case of not being able to see the detail with our eyes. You can only see the detail on the toad in a close-up image.

Future pine cones...

False Solomon's Seal is everywhere.

On some of the trails there are large patches of Poison Ivy.

Lots of Wild Strawberries.

Not sure what this is but the overall plant looks similar to the Mayapple.
Update: This is Wild Sarsaparilla. Thanks Doug.

An odd looking growth of something that caught Jane's eye.
Update: This is Mitrewort. Thanks Gerry.

Someone told me what this is but I forget.
Update: Wild Lily-of-the-Valley. Thanks again Gerry.

Another mystery...
Update: John Foster ID'd this as Giant False Solomon's Seal. Thanks John.

And another... 
Update: Clintonia-- thanks Gerry.


Friday, 27 May 2011

2nd Marsh -- Wild Geraniums -- May 26th, 2011

Wild Geraniums are out in big numbers. I somehow forgot to post any of these yesterday.

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...

- fini -


Thursday, 26 May 2011

2nd Marsh -- May 26th, 2011

I didn't feel like taking my walk on the path today, so... grab the camera and walk at the marsh instead. About 3 minutes from the car I saw another doe. She was about the same place I saw the last one but if this was her she was a lot shier today. I took this shot when I first saw her and a second later she took two jumps and was into the heavy bush out of sight.

Many of the Mayapples are blooming-- one blooming, one not.

There's only one blossom and it's under the umbrella in the "Y" so it's easy to miss on the shorter Mayapples but most of them are pretty tall now.

A new, fresh "Sawtooth" Fungus-- (my name, not the official one).
Update: Doug Lockrey and Gerry Ernest both ID'd this as Angel's Wings fungus-- I like the name.

 Interesting how our imaginations work. I imagined these snails were having a race around the worm tracks on this log. It seemed there was a pause in the action tho while I was watching.

I call these Wild Strawberries but that's a guess.
Update: Doug Lockrey confirmed these to be Wild Strawberries, aka Field Strawberries. 

Dwarf Yellow Ladyslipper. What a gorgeous sight seeing these in the woods. They look like something from the tropics to me. I saw about a dozen of them today. All of the ones I saw were pretty small specimens. A baby's big toe might fit in the "slipper" but that's about it.

This one is having a bad hair day.

The deer and the Ladyslippers made the day a special one.

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...
- fini -


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

On the Path --- May 25th, 2011

Got out for my walk today and took the camera. There's a fairly large patch of what I'm pretty sure is Poison Ivy on the path . Can anyone confirm it one way or the other? The leaves, the berries-- it all seems to fit but I've never had anyone with me when I've come across it anywhere to confirm it for me. I've included a bunch of shots in the hope of getting a positive ID one way or the other.
Update: Doug Lockrey & Gerry Ernest both confirmed that it is indeed Poison Ivy.

Coltsfoot has been at the seed stage for a while now. Their large leaves that give them their name are now out and getting larger by the day. They're also being challenged by the Horsetail. 

A large patch of Horsetail.

 Gold is probably my favourite colour for mushrooms & fungi.

Pretty much everything in our garden has to compete with the Forget-Me-Nots this time of year but it all works out in the end.


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