Saturday, 6 October 2012

2nd Marsh -- October 6th, 2012

After spending most of September in Spain, Portugal or Morocco, and the rest of the month getting ready for the trip... and recovering from it (which is taking longer with each trip), I finally made it down to the marsh today.

It was great to be there again. I know to most it's probably just another nature area, but to me it's food for the soul. I love it there.

It started off slowly, but in the end I was there for almost 4 hours. There are more wildflowers than I expected and a fair bit of bird activity.

I wasn't overly happy with this guy, but then he wasn't overly happy with me either. He joined me less than 10 minutes into the marsh and he was begging for sunflower seeds, which I managed to forget in the car. I wasn't about to go back for the seeds I thought, but after a bit of hemming & hawing, I weakened and did go back for them. Then, back at the spot where I saw him-- no sign of him. I got the shot the first time. Sorry bud.

Lots of Fleabane still...
Update: It's New England Aster-- Thanks Gerry.

The growth at the Beaver Pond that was covering the boardwalk has been cut down. Not as colorful but better for visitors.

There isn't a lot of color in the trees at the marsh but there is some. No Sugar Maples, so no bright reds and oranges, other than a few shrubs that have red leaves.

Lots of Cattails at the Beaver Pond and along the channel and the creek by the berm.

You can never see much open water at the Beaver Pond but it looks like the beavers are keeping part of it open.

I thought this guy was dead on the boardwalk. I saw him in the distance and he didn't move a muscle 'til I was almost on top of him... very unusual for squirrels in the marsh. Normally, they spook easy.
The fallen leaves are covering the boardwalk in spots. You have to be careful that there aren't hidden broken boards, etc.

These ones are clear enough to see them ahead of time, but some aren't. I met a young guy on the boardwalk and he said, "It's an ankle-breaker in here." I knew what he meant. I had one pretty good twist of an ankle myself.

Worm tracks on a dead tree.

The large tree hasn't been removed yet, so it's crawl on your hands & knees or pole vault over it. You can't just crouch, even though it may look like you can in this shot. The bottom of it is less than 4 feet above the boardwalk and it's a good foot in diameter.

October is the month for fungi. I didn't see any for the first few 100 yards but then they started.

When I went over for a closer look at the three in the above shot, I saw the camouflaged tin under the branches. Obviously a geocache. I didn't bother to look inside. If it's still there next time I go to the marsh I will though.

Gold ones are gorgeous, especially shiny ones like these that look like caramel candy.

Lots of boards are broken or wonky. Nature is definitely taking back her own.

Any "Planet of the Apes" fans?


Milkweed Pod-- I'll be watching for more of these in the days ahead.

There are still a few Field Bindweed.

One of the few patches of red.

Not sure what this is but it sure stands out from the green grasses, etc.

Turkey of the most colorful.

There are still a fair number of Queen Anne's Lace in bloom, though most are in the "bird's nest" stage.

And quite a few Himalayan Balsam too... aka Poor Man's Orchid.

Jerusalem Artichokes are plentiful along the berm where the sun has full reign. They have nothing to do with Jerusalem and they're not a type of artichoke. Go figure. There's obviously a story there.

Not a very good shot but I included it for the "show-off" bee, dining upside down.

Chicory... one of my favourites.

I saw a few Great Blues and some other quite large bird I couldn't ID. These three were a long ways off (down the channel by the berm) but the telephoto brought them in not too badly. A couple others were behind the cattails in the channel but they know enough to fly about 3 feet off the water 'til they're far away, then they rise up above the cattails, much too far away for my lens.

Until I learn the proper name, these are "Bottle Brushes.
Update: It's the later stage of Horsetail... very different from the earlier stages. Nature likes to challenge me. Thanks John.

A splash of red berries by the Beaver Pond, on the way back to the car... Bitter Nightshade I think.

Stages of life...

Can a dead leaf be interesting? Some are to me.

And the hardy Dog-Strangling Vine...

Was it ever good to see "my" marsh again.

'til next time...

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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