Saturday, 17 August 2013

Oshawa Second Marsh
August 15th, 2013

August already. And we're well into it. I went on the 2nd of the month but I was feeling restless around the house today so I went down again. I'm lucky that the marsh is only 15 minutes from home.

I often think how lucky those that work in either of these office buildings (a telemarketing company and General Motors HQ) are for lunch-hour or after-work walks. Three nature areas -- McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, Darlington Provincial Park and Oshawa Second Marsh surround them. I meet someone now & then that I'm pretty sure are from one of office buildings, but with our busy lives, and the lack of interest in nature of many people, I imagine very few ever make it to any of the three.

Purple Loosestrife... an invasive, but a pretty one. It's plentiful in the marsh this month.

Amongst some Wild Cucumber


Sadly, due to a number of factors, Monarchs are a pretty rare sight this year. Normally I would have seen hundreds by now. I've seen about a dozen so far this year.
Update: Scratch one Monarch from my sightings. This is the Monarch look-a-like, a Viceroy. Thanks John.

When I see a plant like this, I'm always impressed at how nature strives to ensure that the species survives... hundreds of seed pods on a single plant. This is Horseweed. Thanks John.

Daisies with some seed pods of another plant to add interest.

Some plant names intrigue me. This is Joe-Pye Weed. According to Wikipedia, Joe Pye, an Indian healer from New England, used it to treat a variety of ailments, which led to the name Joe-Pye weed.

Another first for me... clear Farewell Creek meeting muddy Harmony Creek. There must have been rain in the Harmony Creek watershed but not the Farewell Creek one.

August is the month for Wild Cucumber. You can't mistake its leaves.

And its tendrils are everywhere as it climbs anything in its path.

I thought this was interesting... several stages of Red-seeded Dandelion on a single plant.

The growth in the marsh is explosive this year. There are very few spots that you can get close to the water without plowing through cattails, etc. which I don't do. I try to pick a path that others have made, maybe even deer.

If you're not close to the water it's pretty much impossible to see anything in the water because of all the greenery. I did see four Great Blue Herons. This was the best shot I could manage.

There were grasses in every shot.

Poor results here (more grass) but I like the wing position I caught.

August is the month for 'Poor Man's Orchid' (Himalayan Balsam). There's lots of it this year. It's spreading.

Bees love it, which gives it another of its common names-- "Bee-Bums" since that's all you see (if that) of the bee when they crawl inside the blossom. This guy almost disappeared completely when he went in.

Most of the blossoms are pink, but a few are white.

Kiss-Me-on-the-Mountain is yet another of its common names.

I always like to see wildlife in the marsh... even a rabbit.

Queen Anne's Lace... another common sight in the marsh and elsewhere in our area. Many of the blooms have entered the "bird's nest" stage.

Cattails prevail in the open marsh areas -- and water lilies on the water.

Moody clouds over Wilkinson's Pond.

I didn't realize that Field Bindweed grew so tall. This plant is at least 5 feet. Common names include Perennial Morning Glory and Creeping Jenny.

Easy to see why some call it Wild Morning Glory.

These Basswood (Linden) trees aren't in the marsh -- apparently the Brits call them Lime Trees. They're immediately across the road to the north. Many of its leaves have leaf-galls on them. The tree forms the galls to defend itself against various mites and insects that use the leaves, etc. to lay their eggs in.

The fruit of the Basswood attaches to light-green "paddles".

Though the galls look ugly, the experts say that they don't cause any long-term harm. These ones are called spindle galls.

August to me is a pretty quiet month in nature. There are wildflowers but not a lot, waterfowl are only around in small numbers and wildlife seems to be less active.

I'm not rushing the seasons, but fall is always much more interesting in nature to me. And whether we like it or not, it's not far away 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...

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- fini -

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