Monday, 6 April 2015

Oshawa Second Marsh
April 3rd, 2015

Spring continues at its slow pace. The marsh is on the shore of Lake Ontario so it's usually a few degrees cooler than at home... enough so that there is still quite a bit of ice in Ghost Road Bush and along the lakeshore.

Most of the marsh is shades of brown now, so moss stands out, having very little to compete with its brilliant green.

A soft green fungus that I don't remember seeing before.

Black Knot fungus on shrubs in Ghost Road Bush.
It can be harmful, they say, but not much can be done about it in natural areas.


I picked a warm day. There were a few families along the boardwalk in Ghost Road Bush, feeding the Chickadees & Nuthatches. Most families bring along some seed. Kids & adults alike enjoy feeding them out of their hands.

A rather unusual way to feed bread to the birds I thought.

Colorful fungi are scattered through Ghost Road Bush.

And some that aren't so colorful. Last year's Turkey Tail is my guess.

Apparently many fungi don't even have common names. I'm not interested in the least in learning scientific names. I just enjoy the variety.
A Hairy Woodpecker hard at work.

I didn't notice when I took the shot but I think he has an insect in his beak. His hard work paid off.

The best explanation for the flattened cattails that I often see in the marsh is that they're caused by micro-burst downdrafts of wind. Anyone have any other guesses?

A milkweed from last fall that didn't get to release its seeds.

Beaver are a rare sight in the marsh (for me at least) but I often see evidence that they're around.

A disturbing sight—two dead geese along Farewell Creek. I never approach dead animals too closely but I always wonder what the cause was. The fact that there were two seems a bit unusual.
I checked the spot where turtles hang out. None today, but there was a wooden, prehistoric alligator amongst the logs.

There must have been 20 SUVs & pick-up trucks, along with the odd car, of fishermen, parked along Colonel Sam Drive today. The guy I talked to said, "We've been waiting for a warm day." The Dogwood add a touch of color where Farewell Creek enters the lake.

Fishermen are a patient lot. Might as well be comfortable as you wait for a bite.

Colorful rocks on the lakeshore. I'd be curious to hear what a geologist would say about them.
A beat-up bird's nest from last spring. I still marvel at how a bird, just using its beak and feet, and I guess its body, can build such a perfect nest. How do they start it? With a bit of mud and a bit of grass? How long does it take to build one?

I was told that they're drawing down the water level a few inches at the marsh to improve the shoreline, etc. The valve here lets water drain from the marsh into Farewell Creek and then into the lake.

Probably my favourite color of fungus.

The filigree structure from the inside of one of last year's Wild Cucumber seed pods.

Colorful bark on a large Birch.

A window through an ice puddle to reveal some leaves from last fall.

Beautiful shades of brown & gold, with Red-Wings spaced along the cattails, proclaiming their territories. I love their trill.

One of nature's dried flower arrangements.

Soft reflections. A Great Blue Heron silently lifted off from behind the reeds and flew slowly along the creek before I could get a shot. A muskrat was just in front of me but he quickly dove when he knew I was there. Again, no shot. Actually I did get a quick shot but it wasn't worth keeping.

More Turkey Tail fungus.

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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