Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Oshawa Second Marsh
November 5th, 2014

Fall has settled on the marsh. The wildflower blossoms are gone. Shades of brown dominate.

Anything that isn't brown stands out now... like this lone Birch tree and a few green and reddish leaves.

Approaching the Beaver Pond.

Lots of geese were flying north. To the corn fields?

It's only when the bark has peeled from fallen logs that we get a view of just how extensive wood borers' trails can be. They look like petroglyphs.

It took me a year or two to figure out that these green 'crawlies' are actually the last stage of Horsetail—so different from what they look like in their early stages.

The vernal pools have persisted most of the year.

Almost all of the Wild Cucumber seed pods are brown now. They're very obvious this time of year, draped over the branches of many of the trees. This green one is trying to hold out for a bit longer. I love the curlicues.

This is what I call 'smear fungus', for lack of the proper name.

Most smear fungus I see is white.

I always enjoy seeing the avian trio—Chickadees, Nuthatches & Downies. The Chickadees and Nuthatches were accepting sunflower seeds today. In the summer months they're much less interested, finding their own food elsewhere.

Both the Chickadees & Nuthatches land on your hand, usually look you in the eye, then check the seeds you're offering. Sometimes they pick one up, then drop it and take a more appealing one.

A Downie dropped by for a look but wasn't interested today.

This young, brilliant Red Oak stood out dramatically against the leafless Ash, etc. Oaks hold their leaves much longer than most trees.

"All mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms", they say. I read somewhere that mushrooms have gills. But apparently that's not always true. Another source says that the difference is how the spores are produced, which can only be determined using a microscope. Right. So is this one a mushroom? Who knows.

This fungus was snugly nestled between a tree trunk and its lowest branch.

Another true sign of fall is birds preparing for their journey south. I saw a flock of about 20 Robins in Ghost Road Bush, and later a flock of 30 or so Starlings. The Robins may stay for the winter if they find a good stock of berries.

I recorded the chorus of migrants that were in Ghost Road Bush today. Unfortunately the sounds of the nearby highway compete with the birds, but the birds can easily be heard. It contrasts to summer days in the bush, when birds are nesting and it's almost completely silent. 

Here's a link to what I heard today. It's 30 seconds long. Turning the volume up should make the birds' songs easier to hear over the highway sounds. It's a joyful sound.
                               Bird chorus in Ghost Road Bush 

We've only had a few flakes of snow so far. When will the first real snowfall arrive? Probably sooner than most of us would prefer.

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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