A Price Worth Paying (part 1 of 3)
July 18th, 2017
, Part 3
Back to Marlborough Forest on June 14th. This time, instead of taking the
usual loop around Roger's Pond, I decided to explore the vast network of
forest roads. (By "vast", I mean that if you keep going down some of those
roads, eventually you won't be in North Gower any longer. Snowmobilers use
them.) It turned out to be a wetland wildflowers kind of day, with a big
surprise at the end.
My route took me through swampy woods decked out with these magnificent Blue
Flag irises. The first few were wilted and past-prime, but it seemed the
further along I got, the better they got. Blue Flag inhabits a variety of
wetlands, from marshes to wet meadows to streambanks.
My route also took me through mosquito paradise. (Their paradise. Not mine. So
not.) One of the challenges of being a backwoods nature-watcher is that DEET
literally melts plastic. I've already destroyed one set of binoculars with it
and warped the focus ring on my zoom lens. On this day I managed to keep going
without it for some time, through sheer bullheaded stubbornness, but
eventually gave in. I'd rather let DEET slowly devour my equipment than let
the mosquitos and deer flies slowly devour me.
At any rate, it was worth it. Marlborough Forest is a place where you learn
that you can't have the beautiful parts of nature without the biting, stinging
parts of nature. It's all one.
I received approximately 1,000,000 mosquito bites while taking this photo.
Hello. I understand that Cedar Waxwings like to eat flying insects. Could you
please eat some of these flying insects? Kthx.
This was growing in standing water. My first thought was that the
strangely-placed yellow clusters were some sort of foreign growth on the
plant, but a closeup revealed the peduncles anchoring them to the stem. I
couldn't find this one in my Peterson's field guide--which turned out to be
because it wasn't in there, oddly enough. It's called Tufted Loosestrife.
Unlike the familiar, invasive Purple Loosestrife (to which it is not closely
related), it's a native North American wildflower that occurs only in natural