Thursday, 20 June 2013

Out & About in June # 1

Early in June, Oshawa held its annual Peony Festival. I usually make it down to take a few shots.

On the Path
Dog Strangling Vine on the path. As its vines twist & turn, they form some interesting patterns.

Its blossoms are small, about the size of a fingernail. They're star-shaped and wine colored.

The vines seek anything they can cling to or climb. If nothing else is nearby, the vines wind around each other.

When the sun streams through the trees on the path and catches leaves, it can make ordinary shots much more interesting.

A Norway Maple leaf crashing the party. 

A grape vine looking for something to wind around. Can't reach anything? I'll wrap around myself then.

Dame's Rocket (aka Wild Phlox) brightens any patch of green.

Another find on the path. Not sure what it is but it has pretty blossoms.

Clover in a patch of green.

A Poison Ivy patch on the side of the path. Almost all the green leaves in this shot are of Poison Ivy. It looks harmless enough... just a bunch of green leaves mixed in with the grasses. I wonder how many victims it claims in a season.

Snake Spit... or Cuckoo Spit in the UK. More properly it's Spittlebug or Froghopper froth. Science has apparently described about 2500 species of Froghopper. Does that mean there are Froghopper specialists out there somewhere? It makes me wonder how vast the scientific data of the world must be when they've cataloged 2500 species of Froghopper.

If you remove the froth, you'll probably find the nymph that's hiding in it. Here's one of the 2500 species, and a link for the curious.

Altona Forest
I've been meaning to go to Altona Forest for a couple years but never got around to it, even though it's only a 30 minute drive away. I finally made it there with a couple friends earlier this week.

I like their logo... simple, with a woodpecker on the 'F'.

Though it didn't occur to me at the time, when I saw the next two shots on the computer screen they made me think of still life shots that we set up... of bowls of fruit and such. I much prefer nature's versions.

There's a pond in Altona that is a haven for frogs. I've never seen so many at one time, and a variety at that.

Though it looks like this guy is on land, it's just that the pond has heavy algae and water weeds in spots.

I think this is a Green Frog... an appropriate but boring name.

The grand-daddy of the pond. About every five minutes he voiced his challenge to others.

Bowmanville Zoo
On the family side, I went to Bowmanville Zoo with my grandson's school class. As volunteers we got to experience two zoos that day... one in Bowmanville and one on the bus. It's amazing how loud a bus load of 4 year-olds can be. It was fun though.

One of the highlights for RJ was feeding corn to the goats. He said the goats tickled his hand so he fed them some from his hand and dumped some on the ground.

- fini -

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Oshawa 2nd Marsh
May 31st & June 12th, 2013

The marsh is awash in green this year. We may not thrive in rain, but plants sure do. The grasses are head-high along the berm and growth is lush everywhere.

This was something different. A turtle apparently decided that the berm was the perfect place for her to lay her eggs. Someone obviously found & reported it and a local Conservation Authority put the protective cover over it.

Dwarf Yellow Ladyslippers - one of my favourite early spring wildflowers. The slippers might hold your small toe.

A threesome strolling through the woods sporting their curly pigtails.

Delicate & beautiful.

All the rain we've had has replenished the vernal pools.

They offer some eye-catching reflections.

And provide a habitat for frogs and other small creatures. The refraction of the water here makes this frog look disembodied.

The Mayapples are taller this year. That makes it easier to spot the single blossom that they display under the leaves, in the crotch of the Y-junction in their stems.

They're a very soft, delicate shade of yellow.

The 'apple' is still obvious here.

Snails don't get much attention but they're often colorful, and even interesting in their own way.

Dame's Rocket (known to some as Wild Phlox) is generously sprinkled throughout the marsh now.

Dandelions aren't all that common in the marsh.

A tree full of 'cotton'... a Willow.

If you get lost in the woods and have a headache, and there are willow trees around, boil some bark and make some tea. It really works apparently. The basis of Aspirin comes from willow bark-- or did once at least. I think I'd just let the headache run its course.

Doesn't everyone like Daisies?

There's nothing particularly exciting in this bunch of images from the marsh but I'm still trying to show how things progress there as the months go by, even if the progress isn't exciting.

I'd love to see more animals at the marsh than I do, but that means getting up early, which I'm not good at, or dropping by at dusk, which I don't seem to do either. I need more animals that will keep my hours.

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...

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- fini -

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