Posts Tagged ‘Marsh Life’

Last weekend we had enough rain to trigger flash flood warnings in parts of the state, so like any nature lover I went out to see the high water.

1. Waterfall

I had a tripod so I could practice my blurry water technique. This stream didn’t appear to have risen all that much.

2. Marshland

The water was quite high in several other places but I didn’t see any flooding. There were some clever ducks living in this marsh-they quacked so I could hear them, but stayed hidden so I couldn’t see them. They might have been nesting in the high grass.

3. Canada Geese Family

The geese weren’t quite so clever, but the mom and dad hurriedly herded the young ones away.  I took two quick photos and left them alone.

4. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Just after I commented on Jennifer Schlick’s blog that we were suffering a butterfly drought, this eastern tiger swallowtail dropped to the ground in front of me. This happens to me all the time-as soon as I say on a blog that I haven’t seen this or that I usually see it. Of course, when I say that I see a certain thing everywhere I go I might never see it again.  Does this happen to other people?

5. Lone Tree

I sometimes wonder if people realize how hard it is to get a photo of a single tree when you live in a place with 4.8 million acres of forested land. I saw this lone tree off in a pasture but I couldn’t tell what it was. It has the shape of a young American elm.

6. Cow

This magnificent example of bovine beauty and a waist high barbed wire fence kept me from getting any closer to the tree in the previous photo. She seemed to want her picture taken, so here she is.

7. Waterfall

After my encounter with the guard cow I headed back into the woods, where I found another small water fall that I hadn’t known about. I decided not to blur the water on this one.

8. False Hellebore

False hellebore (Veratrum viride) is about three feet tall now and all ready to bloom. This was a fine example. Usually they suffer a lot of insect damage and look quite ratty by this time of year, even though they are one of the most toxic plants in the forest.

9. Pink Lady's Slippers

Plenty of our native orchid pink lady’s slippers (Cypripedium acaule) grew along this stream as well.

10. Painted Trillium

Painted trillium (Trillium undulatum ) also grows here, but they had just about gone by. It’s always good to find another spot where these plants grow, because they seem to be getting harder to find.

11. Ashuelot at Sunset

The setting sun was just kissing the top of the distant hills when I stopped at one of my favorite viewing spots along the Ashuelot River. The water was high but nowhere near flood level.

12. Ashuelot Rapids on 5-26-13

There was enough fast moving water in the Ashuelot to create some good rapids downstream.  I like watching the waves forming and crashing.  No two are alike-just like snowflakes.

There is another alphabet, whispering from every leaf, singing from every river, shimmering from every sky. ~Dejan Stojanovic

Thanks for stopping in.

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Note to Readers: I’m sorry if you have been wondering why I didn’t do my regular Saturday morning post this week, but I did and it didn’t “stick.” Did I not press “publish?” Maybe it was because it was 4:00 am and I did it in my sleep-but no-that’s the way they’re all done.  Anyhow, here it is. NHG

It was the third week of March but if I didn’t know better I would have bet it was mid-June. This day was the fifth hot, dry one in a record breaking week. I decided it might be cooler if I took my afternoon walk in the evening instead, but I was wrong. 

The sun was setting fast but it was still hot-over 80 degrees. The failing light formed pools of gold on the stream and throughout the forest. This stream feeds into a large marsh.

On the edge of the marsh speckled alder’s male catkins glowed in the last rays of sunshine. Alders like plenty of water and sunshine and they find it here. 

Alder bushes were silhouetted against the glow on the surface of the pond away from the setting sun. This small pond is near the marsh and holds its overflow. One evening I watched two beavers that live in the marsh swimming here. The red winged blackbirds always put up a fuss when I wander around this area.

I walked around to the sunny side of the pond to get a better view of the marsh, only to find that the sun was almost gone. Still, I thought I might have time for another picture or two. I know shooting into the sun isn’t a good idea, but I wanted to catch the colors before it went down completely.

 Here alder tongue gall grows on the alder’s female seed bearing cones, called Strobiles.  Many galls are caused by insects, but alder tongue gall is caused by a fungus (Taphrina alni). The fungus chemically deforms parts of the female cone-like catkins and causes long tongue shaped galls, known as languets, to grow from them.

I was surprised that the beavers hadn’t bothered the alders, but it didn’t take long to find out why. This was a clump of birch trees just 4 days earlier, and now it’s a clump of stumps. Because of the golden light and bleeding sap you wouldn’t know the bark on these stumps was white.

Soon the buds on the blackberry will break and leaves will hide its thorns. These very spiny canes help keep kids from getting too close to the edges of the pond and marsh.

I thought I might see some Red Winged Blackbirds in one of their favorite dead trees but apparently they only use it when I’m not pointing a camera at them. Once the spring peepers started singing their evening song I knew it was time for me to head home. 

Thanks for visiting.

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