Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Oshawa Second Marsh
September 26th, 2013

Fall is well under way. Leaves are slowly turning and temperatures are variable from hot to cool, as summer transitions into fall. We've had some glorious fall weather so far. Brilliant sun with bright blue skies and crisp, clear air that makes you feel alive... my favourite season.

I was down at the marsh last week to see what fall has to offer there so far. The Great Blue Herons and Cormorants are back in the channel by the berm and the fall wildflowers are now on stage. Brown is taking over from green as the dominant color and fungi are appearing in numbers.

The herons were elusive today, as they often are, suddenly lifting into the air and flying low over the cattails, making a decent shot all but impossible.

Cormorants are more cooperative but they're wary too. They look like snobs with their noses in the air.

The boardwalk over the beaver pond is suffering again, though not too badly yet. It's now a bit 'wavy'.

It's a real challenge for volunteers to keep up with nature's encroachment on our 'additions' to her marsh.

Himalayan Balsam is still going strong along the berm.

I hadn't noticed its bright reddish stems in fall of earlier years.

Fungi are another favourite of mine. The variety of shapes and colors are fascinating to me.

Monarch numbers are extremely low this year. A butterfly count in others years typically yielded 3,000 to 5,000. This year it was 35! There's real concern for their future.

I saw 5 or 6 at the marsh today. This one happens to be a male... you can tell by the two black spots on its lower wing.

Wild Cucumber is everywhere, climbing over anything in its path.

If you break open a seed pod you'll find four symmetrical chambers, with a seed in each. The seeds are much larger than our garden variety... about the size of a large watermelon seed. They're black too, looking very much like a watermelon seed.

A thistle seed pod.

Jerusalem Artichokes (nothing to do with Jerusalem and not an artichoke) tower over everything except shrubs & trees. One of its common names is Sunroot... more appropriate maybe. Not surprisingly, it's in the sunflower family. They thrive along the berm where there's lots of sunlight.

They can reach 10 ft (3 meters+) in height. These are about 7 ft or so.

The same grouping as above against a blue sky instead.

Some fungi last much longer than others. This is the same one I shot several weeks back. To me, it looks like an artist used a palette knife to smear it on the tree.

A type of Turkey Tail I believe.

Do most flowers close up at night? These New England Asters appear to.

Sunlight filters through the canopy in Ghost Road Bush, catching the odd plant, highlighting it for all to see.

Wild Cucumber is widespread. I like nature's 'tangles' like this one. Maybe it's the detail or the randomness.

The Eastern Painted Turtles were enjoying the sun on their favourite log.

"It feels sooo good".

At the end of the day I found myself apologizing to this spider. I saw a fungus I wanted a shot of and there were a couple strands of spider silk it the way, so I brushed them away, only to then notice the rest of the web and the spider himself in it. My apology was just a "Sorry, bud" but I meant it. :-)

To make me feel just a little bit more guilty, the shot I got of the fungus wasn't worth keeping.

With our trip over to the old country, I hadn't had a true nature fix for a few weeks. This visit to the marsh was like meeting an old friend again after too long an absense.

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...

Search my Blog...

- fini -

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