Thursday, 22 May 2014

Oshawa 2nd Marsh
May 21st, 2014

"I don't like formal gardens. I like wild nature."
                                                 - Walt Disney

Spring is moving along but it almost seems like its pace has slowed. Or is it just back to normal? I expected to see more change at the marsh since my last visit. Maybe I'm rushing things.

There has been change for sure. More growth but only a few species of wildflowers in bloom. I thought I might see some Ladyslippers. Maybe I missed them.

Of the tens of thousands of Trout Lily leaves I saw a couple weeks ago, I only saw these two in bloom.


It does take a few years before they flower so maybe most of the others are younger. The others have lost the spots on their leaves. They'll all disappear soon until next spring.

Mayapples are one of my favourites. They grow in large patches and their umbrellas stand out in all stages of their growth. 

Many of them have their 'apples' now. They're not always obvious since they're under the large leaves. Here one is peeking out from below the overlapping, now open, umbrellas.

This one is in deep shadow but you can see how it grows from the y-shaped crotch of the stem.

The leaves are a rich, waxy green in the early stages.

Some vernal pools are still present. This one looks polluted with some kind of scum on its surface. I've seen it in other years as well. I'm wondering though if it might be some natural process. It's not oil. And it's only on one of the pools.

The cattails aren't large enough or showing enough growth to obscure your view of the channel yet. But I didn't spot any waterfowl today.
It was sunny so I expected to see several turtles sunbathing... but there were only two. One adult and this youngster. The adult dove quickly but junior was much braver and just watched me.

Nature's attack on the boardwalk is relentless. This is the section over the Beaver Pond as it was two weeks ago. No major problems really.

And this was today... wavy & wonky enough that I proceeded cautiously.

The supports are giving way, which makes for a much more difficult repair. Plus the fact that workers need to contend with the water here.

I'm so thankful to the volunteers who repair the boardwalk each year, and to the lumberyard that donates the lumber. I was told which lumber yard it is but I can't remember which one.

The boardwalk on the Farewell Creek bridge side of the marsh suffers even more due to spring flooding. Small sections have been completely washed away.

Most of the boardwalk is easily passable and in pretty good shape. I'm definitely not complaining. Quite the opposite. All of us who enjoy the marsh owe the volunteers and donors a great deal.

My real concerns are the expense to the lumberyard (if the amount of lumber required becomes too great) and whether or not the volunteers can continue to invest the required time & effort needed for repairs. As the boardwalk deteriorates, I'm afraid that access to the marsh may become restricted in the future.

Budgets are tight everywhere today it seems and it would be a very sad day if restricted access becomes a reality.

Even now access is denied from the Farewell Creek bridge due to fallen trees (mostly I think) and damaged boardwalk. Approaching from the east as I did, you only discover the restriction when you arrive here.

This is just east of the bridge. The trail is pretty much 'gone' in this stretch. Others before me have created alternate paths.

This was a sad sight to see... a dead beaver near the creek. I tried to choose a less gruesome shot of it. I try to record what happens in the marsh, which is why I included the shot. I hope it was a natural death. The carcass seemed to be undisturbed. Maybe it was very recent.

Ostrich Fern always looks like it 'belongs' on a forest floor. It adds to the feeling of a forest for me.

Wood Violets are plentiful this year at the marsh, on my walking path, and everywhere else it seems.

The 'bottle-brush' stage of Horsetail.

A snail going about his business... at a snail's pace. I know, I know. :-)

Pretty, but I need help on the ID. It's Toothwort. Thanks guys.

Spring is the time for this ... Pheasant's Back fungus. More commonly called Dryad's Saddle, though the former name is more descriptive.

I love its colors.

It can be a foot or more across. This one is about 10 inches. They're tasty when young... so some people say.

Golden hues always catch my eye. This decaying tree is near the collapsing point.

Nature tries to ensure that the next generation thrives. The ground under this spruce was literally covered in cones. I've never seen so many under a tree... a few thousand at least.

'Til next time.

- fini -



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