Saturday, November 8, 2014

On the Boardwalks


Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~Rachel Carson~

On the boardwalks and through the marshes, wetlands and bogs...some of the most fascinating Divine Designer habitats of wildlife and one of my favorite types of excursions. Preservation of these wetland wonderlands is a big deal, vital to the world's ecosystem.

A Green Heron, here in his multi-colored breeding plumage. They build stick nests in trees and can be found in marshes as well as other habitats.

Pickeral Weed is a common decoration in wetlands.

This dragonfly, the Roseate Skimmer, finds plenty of nourishment skimming over the water.  I have to say I was thrilled no less to discover a PINK dragonfly...really made my day! 

Here's a Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly and Familiar Bluet Damselfly sharing the same perch.  The blue damselfly is a few inches below the pink dragonfly.

This particular wetland usually appears arid in the summer.  
However, in the spring, it looks like this.

A Little Blue Heron foraging for nourishment.  It's a wonder he can see what's in the water under the carpet of green stuff.  Each piece of that green carpet is actually a tiny plant called Duckweed. It is one of the tiniest flowering plants in the world. 

An immature Little Blue Heron has white plumage. 
I love the reed's and the heron's reflection on the water.

Even when the water is murky with decomposition, 
beauty peeks through.  

This striking ProthonotaryWarbler was nesting in a stump sticking out of the water near the boardwalk of this wetland.  

A close up of the Prothonotary Warbler, in a different light.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron in gorgeous blue-grey high-breeding plumage. Loving his pink and blue leg...the other is hidden; they rest on one leg.  I know, it's hard to see the yellow crown.  It often appears white.

For many years wetlands across the nation were drained and the land used for houses, roads and businesses.  The relatively few remaining are now protected. Some have been restored.

Gliding through the woods surrounding this marsh was a spectacular Red-spotted Purple Butterfly.  We don't see them too often, so this was a real treat!

Ok, I know, the Common Snapping Turtle in the photo below isn't a beauty, but this one looks like he has been around for a very long time.  He appeared huge to me, but apparently they can weigh up to 75 lbs or more.  I think he deserves a nod.  He is one of God's creatures, after all.

Beautiful duo of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.  
They nest in tree cavities

Great Blue Heron, almost doesn't look real, does he?

Arrowhead Water Plant bringing variety to the wetlands.

     Notice the water lilys in the center of 
this magical setting:  close-ups to follow.

I'm fascinated by reflections of vegetation on the water.

Eastern Pondhawk male dragonfly

And at the end of the day....

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