Friday, 29 April 2016

Oshawa Second Marsh
April 29th, 2016

Spring is playing games with us. After teasing us with some T-shirt weather not long ago, she has us back in sweaters and jackets. 

I went down to the marsh today to see how spring was progressing there. First thing I saw was this Waterleaf plant with its unique spotted leaves.

Then I spotted this tree-spirit swimming down a gnarled, decaying tree.

Moss has its time on stage now. It stands out before the forest floor takes on its coat of green.

Nature doesn't have photographers in mind when she does her planting. There are lots of tangles and jumbles. In the middle of this one is a Mayapple, just starting to open its umbrella.

But some umbrellas are open. At this early stage you can see the Mayapple's single apple, before the umbrella opens and hides it.

There were a few hundred Mayapples. I think of this stage, with partially opened umbrellas, as their crab stage — looking like crabs marching across the forest floor.

The apples are hidden with these ones.

I always keep an eye out for fungi, fresh or tattered. Some nice tones on this one.

So many of nature's plants start life in hues of red, including Fiddle-heads.

The early pagoda-stage of Horsetail — aka snake grass & puzzlegrass. It changes significantly through its life cycle, later looking much more like a horse's tail, where it got its name.

It harkens back to the age of dinosaurs, when it grew up to 30 feet tall. Lucky if it makes it to a foot or two now.
Birch bark hung out to dry.

The sign talks about sloughs. To a prairie boy like me, that's a bit of a stretch. I'll stick with a vernal pool in this case.

There are literally tens of thousands of Trout Lilies in the marsh. They're everywhere in the woods. I didn't see any flowers but they should be showing themselves soon. 

They got their name from the mottled appearance of the Brook Trout.

School kids are allowed to put up bird feeders & bird houses in the marsh. They don't last long. Occasionally the culprit is a vandal, but usually it's the squirrels.

I've only ever encountered one pair of Nuthatches in the marsh. This one made regular visits to me, to pick up a seed and then hide it in the bark of a nearby tree. 

He was very choosy about his seeds. He'd pick up and drop 3 or 4 before he found one he liked. I fed him from my hand for a bit, then set the rest of the seeds on this log.

Chickadees were looking for handouts too, as per usual.

One of nature's abstracts — grasses and last year's leaves, along with some reflections from above, in a shallow pool.

Dandelions don't get much respect from us humans, but I like their look in the early stage, as the one on the left is here. An interesting center and some tiny curlicues around the center. Pretty pretty, don't you think?

Not having our prejudices, bees are quite happy with them. Nectar is nectar.

I saw a family of deer at one point, but I didn't get a shot. They headed back in the direction I came from though, so I thought I'd look closely for them on my return, never expecting to see them again. After all, it had never happened that way before. 

But lo and behold, if I didn't see the doe and her young one when I was just about back to the car. I didn't see Papa this time.

The doe was watching me intently.

And the young one, about 20 yards from Momma, was keeping an eye on me too.

Then it put its tail up, ready to bolt.

A look over to mum, as if to say, "What are we going to do, Mum?"

Mum slipped deeper into the woods, and the young one quickly followed, effortlessly bounding over logs, white tail raised. I never tire of watching them leap and bound their way through the bush.

I'm looking forward to the greening and warming of the land. It's started, but there's a way to go yet.

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 -


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Search my Blog...