Monday, July 13, 2009

Wetland Watching

It was such a nice day on Sunday I decided to go on a bicycle trip in the ravines. An unintended consequence of the civic worker's strike is that the fields of grass are no longer mowed. As soon as I entered the ravine, I was pleasantly surprised by the fragrant fields of clover that now cover the grass. Maybe once the strike is over we can get Parks to mow less often. It will be cheaper and produce more flowers. The parks will smell better and the bees will be very happy!

One of the places I stopped at was the Goulding wetland. At the pond, the water level was lower but that was to be expected. The water source for this pond is solely from ground water so as it fluctuates, so does the pond. This is normal for a wetland of this type and many of the plant species that are found along the shoreline are adapted to these conditions.

Along with the plants I spotted a couple of mallard ducks as well as the usual coterie of butterflies, dragonflies, water striders and other assorted insects.

Goulding Wetland

Another view of the wetland

A pair of Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) forage for food along the pond edge.

I also visited my old stomping grounds at the Beechwood Wetland. I saw some frogs and turtles there which is a good sign of a healthy pond.

Beechwood wetland

A Green Frog (Rana clamitans) at the water's edge resting in a pile of what looks like raccoon crap. Scatologists: eat your heart out!

I noticed a turtle lurking just below this lily pad. This is the first turtle I've ever seen at Beechwood. I couldn't tell the species but I think it's a Painted Turtle (Chrymemus picta picta).

A single Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) was growing at the water's edge.

Not far from the pond a cluster of Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) was growing. This plant shares the name with the purple flowering plant but is in fact in a different family. Also this one is native while Purple Loosestrife is a non-native exotic.


Marnie said...

Hi, nice tour of the wetlands.

Raccoon poop isn't so hard to identify -- I get a fresh sample on my deck several times a week. :(

As it happens, this morning I dug up (with varying success) a bunch of purple loosestrife that was getting a foothold towards the north end of the pond, as well as that one in your picture.

Great turtle -- I've never seen one in the pond. (Just those snappers earlier in the season.) It looks quite large.

Unknown said...

Funny you mention bees. They have been on my mind for a while since I first heard two years about (from CBC in North Bay) about their rapid disappearance.

It would be good to work with the amateur beekeepers to ensure that we have bees near the Don. Last I heard, the Toronto Group was keeping their hives in Guelph.