Monday, 2 September 2013

September morning walk in the wetland

The beauty of living on 16 acres, most of which is hidden from the highway, and having no neihbours, is that I can take a walk with the cats and wearing my jammies. Carrying only my camera, if we move quickly in September, you skip most of the bugs. 

My buddies: Daisy in front
Dark, as the sun rises
Unlike the birds, raccoons, tree frogs, moths, butterflies, and horrible wasps – all feeding madly in preparation for winter, the mosquitoes have slowed down and the deerflies are too cool in the dew of the forest in the morning. Buster was out all night, which works out best for his big sister, whom he adores to aggravate. My companions were the twins, Daisy the Small, Dorah the Explorer. They have changed in their old age. No longer kittens, they are about a year old. The first day we brought them home, Dorah explored the entire house. Daisy climbed as high as she could on the cat tower.
If we hear a sound, whilst up on the back deck, overlooking the forest, all cats freeze, except Daisy, who rushes over to check it all out.
Off we went. The cats have a long list of catches, none caught during our walkies as I go too quickly, and I like to be loud just in case Booboo bear is about. (We never see the mother. She eschews the backyard.) There is one deer that has haunted our meadow all summer, but the rest are quite well-fed with the bounty of a wet August.

The meadow is brighter, with less of a canopy

We've had great amounts of rain.
The blue-lined skink hides under rotting wood
 The wetland bog is delightful to check out. Many birds; chickadees, red-breasted grosbeaks. I've spotted warblers, purple finch, blue jays, Scarlet tanager, Hermit thrush, and Great crested flycatchers.

What was open bog,
is covered in poisonous Water parsnip
 Buster and Felix and I used to walk in the bogBuster and Felix getting soakers on the wetland. The floating water lily leaves made the pond look like solid land! You can compare the video of 2011, when the bog dried, and they took a risk looking for critters. The 2012 drought totally transformed the wetland.
2 years ago, Buster and Felix got soakers on the lily pad
covered bog. Now, many wetland plants are growing over.
This is what the bog looked like 2 years ago.

Daisy, who keeps near me,
likes to fling herself up trees.

We have an island that rises up in the wetland.
I built a bridge, and we crossed over.
The wetland reveals more critters: blue-spotted salamander. Just a small one, amongst the fungus and rotting wood. My hands are clean, and I put it back where I found it.
"Take nothing but photographs; leave nothing but footprints."
Buster & I found a large on in 2011

Back from the island, Dorah, as always, lags behind. Daisy gets concerned as Dorah howls, begging us to "wait up!"

cat walkies in the forest from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
We went for a walk. Run, perhaps. Off to the point and the island. Daisy keeps up with me, Dorah hangs back. Daisy' ears are cocked, as she hears Dorah howl. Daisy was prepared to go back and rescue her bigger sister!
We carried on.

They love the logs, not so wet as forest floor.
Hard work, time for a break.

Fruits, the bounty of summer
They stay close together on the round trip back.
Moss and orange mushrooms

Back up on the driveway, Dorah pants with the efforts.
The frog pond, we wend our
way back up the hill.
The wetland walk was much less dangerous than our trip to Maberly, more on that later. I was stung twice by a hungry Yellow jacket (yes, again) than flew in the car while I was driving. I pulled over and slapped on the bug bite antidote.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Lovely walk, thanks for taking us along. And a morning walk in your pajamas definitely a plus for being out in the country.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow, Jenn, what do you use as a bug-bite antidote? My father was very allergic to bees and wasps, etc., and always had an epi-pen handy. Until he developed dementia...then he duct-taped three epi-pen boxes together, rendering them all useless in case of an emergency. Broke our hearts to see the kinds of things he was doing. Well, you know...
Love the photos today. Always love to see the girls on their walkies.
Luv, K

Bill Nicholls said...

Cats are strange creatures going for a walk one day and won't be bothered on another. I had a cat who aways seemed to be round someone else's house but when I came home he was there waiting.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jenn: What a fun walk in the woods. I must admit I never took a cat I owned for a walk.

Kay said...

What fun! You have so much beauty out there. I'm truly envious.

Hilary said...

Very cool that the kitties join you on your walk. You took some lovely photos around your beautiful area.

Christine said...

wonderful to have 16 acres, no worries about the crowds of the city, it's getting worse here in Toronto.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
A breath of fresh air and company to boot! You always manage to make us feel like we are right there beside you!! YAM xx