Monday, 30 April 2012

2nd Marsh -- April 30th, 2012

I received an email last night saying that about 12 acres of the marsh had been burned so I went down today for a look. It happened Sunday afternoon.

Wilkinson's Pond near the viewing platform by GM HQ.

There's minor damage to the viewing platform. A couple smaller posts were broken out and there's a bit of damage to the support for the display board, leaving little doubt that the fire was caused by vandals. The platform suffered a bit of charring on the south side, but very little.

Looking west from the platform.

Looking south from the platform.

The fire was from the platform, south to Cool Hollow. This is the view north from the platform.


Looking north from just north of Cool Hollow. The path was an effective firebreak. The fire department was called and they stopped the fire at Cool Hollow.

Most of the bush seemed ok, and the Bluebird boxes survived.

Fire can be fickle. A lone plant survived here. It looks like the surrounding earth saved it.

Close to Cool Hollow, looking south-west towards the lake.

Looking north from Cool Hollow.

In Cool Hollow.

Most of the Spruces are ok and have new cones developing.

I've (thankfully) heard fewer cases of vandalism in our area over the last few years but it's always going to be part of any society unfortunately. A few years ago the viewing platform that was near the Beaver Pond was burnt down completely by vandals.

Of course nature will restore the marsh in a surprisingly short time. She often uses fire to renew areas, but she starts the fires, with lightning usually. Controlled burns by humans are quite common too, usually for our purposes though, rather than for nature.

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 April 2012

2nd Marsh -- April 26th, 2012

It was time for a visit. It was overcast but the sky was lighter to the south where the marsh is. It was fine when I got to the marsh. But it didn't stay fine. I got wet. The changes since my last visit weren't significant.

The greening of the forest floor... unfortunately, mostly due to Garlic Mustard.

The Mayapples are spreading their umbrellas. At this stage they look like one-legged green crabs marching through the forest.

In the early stages they show their 'apples', only to hide them as the leaves mature.

It's always good to see a Chipmunk running around.

This is a "crop-circle" at the Beaver Pond. It's a puzzle to me. I can't imagine a downdraft of wind causing it. I'm guessing it's the beavers' work though I can't imagine why they'd want to do it.

Of the countless 1000s of Trout Lilies in the marsh, I only saw two blooming.


Only two of the trio were out today... a few Chickadees and this single Nuthatch.


Fiddleheads... old growth and new.

I thought I might see more waterfowl today, but a single goose flying overhead, a pair of Mallards at the Beaver Pond, and this pair of Mute Swans were it.

A mini-forest of Horsetail.

Peek-a-boo Touch-Me-Nots

A quiet day. Though we had an early taste of Spring, it seems to be moving at a normal pace now.

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 -


Friday, 20 April 2012

Cuba # 3 of 4

I forgot to include what I thought were a couple of interesting shots from our day trip to Trinidad. These land crabs were crossing the highway from the sea to the forest after releasing their eggs in the sea.

Here's a link to a 2-minute BBC video about the crabs, if you're interested.

We went to Havana for a day-trip. We had a limited choice of days that we could go, since the Pope was in Havana the same week we were in Cuba and no tours were allowed while he was there.

This is Revolutionary Square in Havana... where the Pope spoke to the masses.

Statue of Jose Marti.

Some sort of transaction going on & yet another classic car.

Laundry always attracts a photographer's eye for some reason. The colors? The "home-i-ness"?

On our previous trips to Havana we had a drink at the hotel where Hemingway hung out. This time all we got was a (very) quick shot on the way by it.

The Capital Building in Havana... similar to so many around the world.

... and just across the street from it.

In front of the Capital Building is a hot spot for classic cars. I think they hope for a peso or two from tourists wanting to pose with the cars.

Last time we were in Havana, I spotted a guy with an ancient camera but I didn't get him to take a shot of us. This time I was looking for a similar chance and luckily a photographer was there again.

He didn't seem to be getting much business. I would guess most of his customers would be curious photographers. He had a backdrop and charged 2 CUCs ($2 US). His camera is like an old view camera. He takes the cover off the lens for a few seconds, puts it back on, and processes the film as you wait.

Here are the results. The actual size of them is about 3x4 inches. He gives you the negative too.

And here he is with his camera.

Camera & backdrop.

Processing the image. I was fascinated by the method.

His chemicals or wash?

Our lunch stop in Havana at El Morro Castle. We've taken the Havana tour on each of our trips to Cuba. Each time it's a bit different but this lunch stop was the same place as our first trip 20 years ago.

The view across Havana harbour from El Morro.

Tour buses lined up along the Malecon, the walkway alongside the harbour where Cubans fish, visit or stroll.

Classic cars as taxis are everywhere.

Some courtyards are particularly attractive. I liked this one.

Havana skyline.

In Havana...

An annoying thing about some conducted tours is how, somewhere along the way, they take you to a place where they hope you'll leave some dollars behind... a more common practice in poorer countries. Understandable, but annoying nonetheless. Even so, they're still the best way to see lots in a short time.

This stop was at a huge flea market where the only pesos we dropped were for a pop and some ice cream.

Some Cuban art does catch my eye.

I'd never heard of a Geely. Some tidbits from the web:
They're Chinese and are sold in some South America countries... and Cuba obviously. -- Apparently they'll be sold in the UK later this year. -- In 2010 Geely bought Volvo from Ford.  -- In China, one of their models is named King Kong.-- Geely is one the 10 largest China-based automakers.

My question... If Geely is one of the 10 largest automakers in China, how many are there altogether?

Some street performers in Havana. They travel from city to city trying to earn some pesos.

Still in Havana... Cathedral Square.

This guy really likes his spot. He never moves from it.

Another 'pose for pesos' shot. She was in the same spot in the square 4 years ago. She annoyed me then, and she annoyed me this time too (her attitude), but I weakened and took a shot this trip. She has gone to some effort for her pesos. The cigar is an added touch.

Much of the cathedral is built of coral.

An interesting truck. It could probably tell a few stories.

A link to Cuba #4 of 4:

- fini -


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