Thursday, 12 June 2014

Oshawa 2nd Marsh
June 11th, 2014

"I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me."
                                                                               - William Hazlitt

A lot happens in nature in our area in May & June. I try to get out often to see what nature has decided to show me. I always hope that she'll show me more of her creatures than she does, but I'm just not a morning person so I miss a lot. I'm working on it though. She shows me lots of her wildflowers.

I was at the marsh on my own twice in the first week of June, once to an area I seldom go and once following my usual path. Then, this week I returned with a group of friends.

Many of the Mayapples have their single blossom now.

What a gorgeous color this guy is.

This term is new to me.

I've been lucky enough to see a few Baltimore Orioles this spring. When they fly from tree to tree and the sun glints off their gorgeous plumage, it's a joy to see.

A flat fungus.

Dazzling & brilliant... Dwarf Yellow Ladyslippers. I look forward to seeing them every year.

There are more this year and they've extended their range. It's one of only a few wild orchids we're blessed with in our local woods.

It has some interesting common names, including Squirrel Foot, Golden Slipper, Venus' Shoes, and Whippoorwill Shoe. The slippers are about the size of the top joint of your thumb, or smaller.

I like their pigtails.

They're only in one area of the marsh as far as I know.

At the lake, the gulls were fishing while the geese enjoyed a relaxing swim.

This gull found a quiet spot he didn't have to share.

Wind gusts kept him on his toes.

A strategically placed web... only smaller pickings so far.

This is a case where a picture just can't do the scene justice. It makes you feel like nature set it up just for you, as you walk the berm with Dame's Rocket in full bloom on both sides. It's the mix of mauve, white & pink blossoms that make a massive display of it so beautiful. Enlarge it to get an impression of what it was like.

When the group of us went to the marsh we spotted this male Trumpeter in a quiet cove, just off Lake Ontario. He'd obviously been feeding in the reeds to get such a golden neck. He didn't bother to get up to greet us. He was about 30 feet away.

A quick look out in the bay and we spotted the rest of the family, 100 yards or so from the bank. She brought her brood in to meet us, swimming to within 20 feet.

She didn't show any fear or aggression. It was as though she was looking for a handout.

Meanwhile, the male just sat, snoozed or groomed himself. No aggression on his part either. In fact, it was almost as if he didn't care that we were there at all. He glanced our way now & then, stood up a couple times but then sat down again. Maybe he sensed that we were no threat to him or his family.

Fred decided the female was being a little too friendly so he made a quick retreat. Meanwhile, the male is unconcerned and grooming himself. He must figure the missus can take care of herself.

This female Mallard was on the path when we were returning to our cars. No nest or ducklings that we could see, though we could easily have missed them. When we got too close she flew to the bay, 50 yards or so away. A bit of an odd encounter.
June is definitely the month to see Dame's Rocket. It's 'everywhere'.
What will my next visit bring?

- fini -


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