Another pictorial entry here…
Across from the Montreal General Hospital on Cedar Avenue, Park Mont-Royal begins. And it starts with stairs to a meadow.
Right away you see Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory blooming.
You also see purple bells, but I don’t know their name.
It turned out to be an Indigo Bunting. This makes me really happy because on my fantastic Point Pelee Big Day, when I saw 55 (or more?) species before 1:30, I did not see an Indigo Bunting. Nor for the rest of the trip, either.
I proceeded to Beaver Lake, where I heard a mama wood duck is raising her 7 ducklings. This kind of duck is famously shy, so that she chose a man-made lake is a little lucky for us and a little odd for her. But they have had some difficulty, in that the lake has no shore – and some pretty clueless people harassing them.
But Les Amis de la Montagne are looking after them, providing little resting and feeding platforms, such as these two juvenile mallard ducks are taking advantage of.
They provided this floating platform that the mamas and babies sleep on at night – and these two mallards are taking a break.
On my walk back through the woods, I came across an escargot. I moved it across the path so that no one unwitting might step on it. A few years ago, I found an ad for a garage sale where a giant African land snail and its tank were up for grabs. I could not let this just go to chance; I went over and got it. The snails’ name was Fluffy Margaret, and it went to my wildlife technician educator friend, who loved the snail dearly. As did her students. They were despondent when she died in 2011.
Red clover, and morning glory. This vine is also called bindweed, because it’s really strong – so strong, it can break the disks on a tiller, a piece of farm equipment that gets pulled behind a tractor to turn the soil.
This flower I haven’t seen before. It’s a legume – a member of the pea family. The leaves and vine are bigger than the ubiquitous cow vetch.
The pea, the milkweed, and another spiky flower coming into bloom soon.
I am so glad this meadow is there. Forest cover is essential for birds and wildlife, but so are wild open spaces, and in that case, though snags (dead trees) should be left standing, small (very small) clear cuts can be beneficial to an ecosystem, and that’s the only way I can think of this meadow being there. Gaps, of course, occur naturally, through fire, flood and blowdowns (windy storms). And at the perimeter of this clearing, you can see the first of the succession species, sumacs, coming back in.