Thursday, 17 April 2014

Oshawa Second Marsh
April 12th, 2014

It was time for my monthly visit to the marsh. I'll be going down more often now that things are happening though. The rush is on. Nature is back in full swing. 

Spring is a glorious time for nature lovers. The best season in many ways, as our world warms and and begins to green. The wildflowers will burst out soon. What a great time! It's been a while since I've looked so forward to the renewal that comes with Spring.

While the trees are still mostly bare, it's easy to see the damage that our December ice storm wreaked. Broken branches & fallen trees are everywhere there are stands of trees.

I like the way the boardwalk winds back through the trees in Ghost Road Bush.

The Beaver Pond (could be called the Cattail Pond) is almost completely covered in cattails.

There are only a couple spots where you can actually see the water.

Duckweed sprouts early.

I don't see many green fungi. Is it just algae?

Vernal pools are present. They're used by frogs & salamanders, though I've never seen any in them. Just tiny larvae and on occasion a pair of Mallards.

The vernal pools (and in some years the spring floods) take their toll on the boardwalk.

Early April is when moss grabs your attention. It's the only significant green on the forest floor. If you look closely, there's a variety--it's not all the same species.

The channel along the berm... walking towards the lake. There are a few logs at the bend that are favourites of the turtles.

There was only one out today but he was a brave one. I was able to get much closer to him than I usually can to turtles. He never did dive--the usual reaction if I get anywhere inside 30 feet. He just watched me.

On my way back.. he'd moved but he was just as bold.

What a wonderful surprise this was. I noticed some movement on the bank behind the turtle and saw this mink slip through the dormant grasses & reeds. 

I thought a two-second glimpse was all I was going to get but he moved along the bank intently searching for food, I assume, and I was treated to a few views, over a period of probably only a minute--two at the most.

It's the first mink I've seen in the wild--in fact I'm not sure I've seen any in zoos. If I have I can't remember when.

He looks near-sighted (or is it far-sighted?) to me. Maybe he didn't even see me. Not sure if I was up-wind or down.

Nothing here interested him so he slipped over this fallen tree and into the woods.

Reflections add to many a scene.

There are always a few birdhouses along the boardwalk in Ghost Road Bush. I'm not sure if school kids put them up or if it's just families that bring their kids down to the marsh.

Most are small--some very colorful.

Not sure about this one. I couldn't see any entry hole, though I couldn't get a good view of the 4th side. It must have one though.

Sadly, there will always be vandals. I wonder how old Kyle is. He'll be very sad to see his birdhouse if he returns to check it. Possibly an animal did it, but I doubt it.

A touch of purple with the green.

More fungi--of course...

At some point in spring, A. E. Housman's poem always comes to mind. The numbers are way off for me now (way off) but it's a beautiful poem.

         Loveliest of Trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow. 

               A. E Housman 
                1859 - 1936

 It feels so good to get back to the marsh in warmish weather--soon to be warm rather than just warmish.

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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