Wednesday, 10 August 2011

2nd Marsh -- August 10th, 2011

I thought the rain was over so I headed down to the marsh. Got a bit wet.

I do like the look of Wild Cucumber.

Purple Loosestrife is crowding out the boardwalk by the Beaver Pond. I should've known what it was. Thanks folks... Jane, John, Gerry. :-)

An interesting comment from Gerry... the notorious "Purple Loose Strife "  This normally takes over a swamp/marsh, choking out other growth.  Second Marsh was one of the first places that introduced an insect from Europe that uses Purple Loose Strife as a host and kills it. If not for them, the marsh would be full of it.

White Baneberry berries (aka "Doll's Eyes")

Big leaves, small flowers. It's Wood Nettle... Thanks John.
Himalayan Balsam is widespread in the marsh now.

Its blossoms are gorgeous.

After seeing all the herons a few days ago, I figured there was no way I'd see any today... given the way things usually go. 

As I was checking the Willow trees along the berm, lo & behold one flew out. Then another, and another... 5 or 6 in all. All of them flew behind the tree or along the channel behind the cattails so there was no way I could get a decent shot of any of them. 

Then, I spotted this one before it left.

This one flew up from behind the cattails...  close enough for a quick shot.

I saw about a dozen today. Some of them were sharing the raft with the Cormorants again.

Something caught their eye.

Goldfinches love thistle seeds.

A Woolly Bear...
From the Net...
The all-time predictor of the winter to come is the Woolly Worm, also known as  Fuzzy Bear or Woolly Bear. This is the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth, an orange-yellow moth with a wing span of 2”.
Woolly Bear Caterpillars are usually seen in the fall as they search about for a perfect place to curl up and spend the winter, which is usually under bark, a rock, a log, etc. Their heavy coats, along with producing natural organic antifreeze, help them over-winter. They can actually survive -90 degree F temperatures!

When I think that an earth-bound creature like this will one day transform itself and take to the skies, free as a bird, it seems like science-fiction rather than science fact. How did that evolve? Absolutely incredible.

More Wild Cucumber...

There's lots of Joe-Pye-Weed in the marsh now.

On the boardwalk...

Obviously the little critters find some leaves tastier than others.

A late season Mayapple.

Red Baneberry berries just jump out at you with their brilliant red.

A red Dragonfly stands out too. It's a male White-faced Meadow Hawk... Thanks John.

And a much more common variety. It's a male Common Whitetail...Thanks John, Gerry.
The changes continue at the marsh. After a bit of a slowdown, things seem to be picking up again. With only about 6 weeks of official summer left, the pace of change may start to pick up speed even.

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 -



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