Thursday, 6 December 2012

2nd Marsh & Lake Ontario
- November 28th, 2012

I was at the marsh last week. I ran into someone that said he saw five or six beavers earlier, said he saw them every day, down by the lake.

I doubted his comments (maybe they were muskrats?, maybe he saw 2 or 3?) but after getting as specific directions as I could from him, I decided to check it out. I went down the berm to the lake, for a look.

As it turned out, I went half a mile or so further than I needed to, but on the way back I did in fact find the spot he was talking about. I didn't see the 5 or 6 he mentioned but I did see one.

And with my extra walk along the lakeshore, I got some shots of the lake that I like.

More cattails at the Beaver Pond are 'pushed-down' than I've ever seen. I'm really curious about it. Beavers? It's not the only spot where they're like this.
Update: With my curiosity getting the better of me, I googled "blown down cattails" and eventually dug out this reference:
"Because the wetlands are located on an exposed hillside, winds can and do blow down the cattails. The result is a patchy stand of cattail, about three meters in height where it is erect, and flat on the surface elsewhere."
It does make more sense to me than the beavers being the cause... probably just the fact that the roots would be in loose mud. Not a hillside (as in the reference) in the case of the Beaver Pond or the the other couple areas in the marsh where I saw the effect, but an exposed area where there are strong winds would be enough to do it I'm sure. Mystery solved... I think.

The Chickadees were out in strength today... they were on my head, my shoulders. I had seeds for them so they followed me for a bit.

It's so much easier getting by this spot now that the volunteers sawed up the tree that was blocking the boardwalk. It's up to nature now to decompose it, as she most surely will.

One of those little surprises that I enjoy. Some bush seems to have suddenly dropped its green leaves amongst the brown ones... shedding its leaves much later than most.

There was still some color in the Turkey Tail fungus.

Another little surprise... fungus on a spider web.

Common Reed Grass along the berm.

Yet another small surprise... a Woolly Bear caterpillar. If all goes well for him, at some point he'll be flying around as an Isabella Tiger-tail Moth.

Woolly Bears can predict the severity of the coming winter, according to the Farmer's Almanac...

Isabella Tiger-tail Moth

Along the lakeshore...

Probably the last Milkweed I'll shoot this year. Seeds dispersed, job done.

I went way past the spot where the beavers were, as I was to find out later, but the mood created by the late light and the pounding waves were well worth the extra steps.

A curiosity... the rocks that the waves wash up on shore, in localized bunches. It must be because of the shape of the lake bottom at any particular point I would think. But is there an endless supply of rocks? Where do they all come from? Washed in from creeks I suppose.

Only smaller stones are washed ashore here, so the waves must be weaker here than in other spots.

And here, some good-sized ones, but again, just in one area of the beach.

I like the patterns that the rocks sometimes form. With the water washing around them, each rock ends up with its own 'nest' in the sand.

There was a fair wind so some powerful-sounding waves were hitting the shore.

A few of the waves were bordering on thunderous. I wasn't exactly nervous, but the power and the crashing sound definitely caught my attention. I didn't manage to shoot the biggest ones... the 'big one got away' as the fishermen say.

Gulls soaring in the wind, ducks on the water, both glinting in the sun... a treat to watch.

A sight like this always takes me back to the prairies. When my mother saw rain on the horizon she'd say, "Someone's getting it".

Mallards in a bay on the other side of the marsh.

As I said earlier, I did see one beaver, in a bay off the lake. This doesn't look like a lodge they're building. It's more like a small dam or barrier, that they may build a lodge behind? I'll return soon to check their progress, if they haven't moved on.

This ice at the beaver 'dam' was the first I'd seen this year. I wondered how long it would be before I saw more. It was a few days but it's in the shallow puddles & the bird baths now.

Common Reed Grass catching the breeze and the light.

Most of the marsh is brown this time of year so it's always nice to see a bit of color. Here it's 'Late Goldenrod', its actual name, as I learned from John.

I shoot grasses that catch my eye, but I find it hard to get shots that I like. I kinda like this one though.

On the way back from the lake there was nice light on the channel.

A moss 'forest'.

The 'bottle-brush' stage of Horsetail. It's a soft, olive green now.

There must have been some strong winds the last few days because I saw four or five recently downed trees. The crack when this one snapped must have been heard a ways away.

Maybe it's strong winds that flatten the cattails I see. Maybe their lower stems are weak this time of year.

This fungus looks like it was smeared on the tree with a butter knife.

Last light in the marsh, with a soft glow on the trees that were catching the sun.

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 -

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Search my Blog...