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A 'Tiny' blog


by John Beaulieu (Bowl-you)

I digress again from my usual hardy geranium blogging. These shots are from an outing with my local horticultural society. Once a year they do a meeting off-site, and this year it was held at the close-by Tiny Marsh. First off, it is not small, but rather a good-sized wetland complex named for the township of Tiny. There were three townships in Simcoe County named after the three little dogs of Lady Simcoe, Flos, Tay, and Tiny.

We started our meeting in the interpretation centre at the marsh, which was full of wonderful nature displays.

We had two speakers, the first being a volunteer of the group that looks after several of the marshes in the area. We learned about how they control the water levels and provide nesting areas for water fowl. Our second speaker was a lady whose family lived on the marsh, and she told us about the history of the farmers trying to drain and use the wetland. They eventually gave up and sold the property so it could become the important wetland that it is today.

Above the display/meeting rooms, there is a tour looking out to the main marsh area. From this tower we could see the dike that divides the open area in half. One side or the other often has the water drawn down to help rejuvenate the marsh plants.

There is a short trail constructed into the wetland so wheelchairs and scooters can get up close with the water, but snapping turtles (digging their nests) make that difficult as after they start digging it looks more like craters on the moon!

When we left the building and tower for a guided hike through the woods and fields, the bugs were getting bad and were in clouds swarming around us.

Part of the trail is a boardwalk through a very wet area. The water is covered with lots of small-leaved ‘duckweed’ and there were lots of interesting aquatic plants such as the Blue Flag iris.

Eventually we reached another tower which gave us a different view. We saw Great Blue Herons, Trumpeter Swans, and a variety of ducks.

There is plenty of wildlife in the marsh, but I did not get to photograph a lot of it that evening. We were all busy chatting and swating bugs!

I include a few shots of a couple of the MANY turtles I have come across this year… usually when they were crossing roads and highways. I always stop and move them across to the side they are going to, as they often stop to bask because of the warmth of the pavement. A lot of turtles are lost to cars and trucks, especially in the spring when females are looking for nesting sites. Some however, like the Midland Painted Turtle above, were males out for a walk.

It is impossible for me to blog without some reference to hardy geraniums, so here are a few shots from earlier this year.

The brilliant magenta geranium is G. subcaulescens ‘Signal’.

Geranium renardii and it’s hybrids enjoy the good drainage of the rockery.

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What a huge marsh that is! Next time you need to take a personal mosquito net! I absolutely love the painted tree frog, isn't he splendid?
Phillippe Vapelle is very pretty - more dainty than most and a lovely shade (kitten's eyes blue)

23 Jul, 2014


I missed this outing and meeting but love your comments and pictures. Thanks.

18 Aug, 2014

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