Skip to main content

A Photo Diary from the backwaters of eastern Lake Ontario.

The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about what is happening in the natural world in our neighborhood. Birds, blooms, bugs & more - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
September 2012
We recently purchased an acre of wooded land behind our little cottage on the dunes next to Southwick Beach State Park NY on Lake Ontario. While doing the property research I discovered the town tax assessor referred to this land as "wasteland". That may be true for anyone who never left their office, who never ventured into the area, who never explored during any of the seasons, who never put on boots during a flooded spring, who never got bugged in summer, or who never wrote a Daily Bucket about any of it.

The rest of us know it as wetland, maybe not legally since it's only an acre but when viewed in context with the adjoining pond and backwater lakes, sure, it's a wetland.

First off for all you bug lovers - a pretty red dragonfly, probably a Meadowhawk (Sympetrum)


Standing water makes a wetland

Not a lot of water in the fall, especially after a summer drought but here is a little puddle. I noted a couple frogs splashing as I approached but not close enough to ID. The south end of the acre is wetter since it runs into a pond that the state maintains. By maintain I mean they keep the beavers out so it doesn't totally flood back up to us, as well as the campground on the other side.

Trees adapt to periods of water

Birch and maple predominate. It appears that a storm had gone thru last year or so and blew down a few bigger birch trees. I spent a bunch of time cutting my way around the property lines; never have gotten thru the bottom end by the park.

Of course dead and dying trees means mushrooms, like a very big Shelf Mushroom (Polypores)

Hornbeam is one of the understory trees. Here's one with blooms still hanging on from spring.

This small glade is a peaceful spot with enough shade to crowd out the goldenrod and blackberry.

Lots of boulders scattered around, left over from last glacial transit.

Ferns love it wet
Right below the sandbank where it's typically wet, if not standing water, the ferns start. It's a jungle in summer.

Royal Fern

Marsh Fern

and this may be a Spleenwort or Christmas fern. I need to go back and check further and note spores and stalks and branching and such.

One more wetland plant - this is a rush I have not yet identified.

Jack In The Pulpit
I was aware that the area was covered in JITP but was surprised to find so many with seed berries. Mayapples are also spread around and thankfully only one small bit of poison ivy I ripped up. Lots of grasses and bog plants like arrow root for me to investigate later.

a grouping of 3 nestled between fallen trunks

Closeup

In some ways tho the place is a wasteland. The neighbor long ago bulldozed sand down to level out his bank and then made longlasting deposits.

Rust Pile - but it's pretty in a neglected way

Home De-improvements - something I will haul off next year.

And the neighbor on the other side is also looking to grow their yard by pushing sand over the 12-15' bank. Too bad it washed out and covered some ferns in 6" of sand. You can see the wood I backfilled with. These neighbors really don't understand all this nature stuff.

Lastly, front view of our little cottage with golden windows as the sun sets on the lake.

Jump on in with your observations, your local wetlands or wastelands and as always, your time and place. Thanks for visiting mine.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site