A walk in the wetlands

Last night, Mary and I went for a bit of a hike at the Wetlands Management Office — they have a trail through a big chunk of very soggy land, full of ducks.

(Yes, that’s what the untilled prairie grasslands look like this time of year.)

It does look a bit brown, but spring just started. Give it time. We did find some prairie pasqueflowers, the first flowers of the season.

We also found spiders, of course, but maybe I’ll throw a few of those photos in a separate article on Patreon, so this one can be spider-free.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    I cannot think of anything sarcastic and grumpy to say about the flowers. I think I’ll go and yell at a cloud instead.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    One question- would this qualify as “steppe” although there seems to be ample precipitation? And there must be something that prevents the trees from taking over.

  3. silvrhalide says

    @2 There is something preventing the trees from taking over. Tornados. The growing season is also tornado season. Grasses can survive tornados and the accompanying hailstorms, trees not so much.

  4. silvrhalide says

    Pretty. Have the frogs and other wet-season-is-mating-season animals started up yet? Seems like a good place for the evening frog chorus.

  5. says

    Also, fire. Prairies are regularly (in a natural state) swept by fire. We were shown a stand of oak which grew up in a fire shadow next to the water — any trees outside that little peninsula would be scoured out of existence by prairie wildfires.

    Yes, the frogs are singing. I should have recorded it — it was a raucous cacophony of birds shrieking and frogs trilling and croaking.

  6. fusilier says

    Everyone has read A Sand County Almanac, right?

    fusilier, who’s worn out at least three paperbacks, and does NOT like the Kindle version

    James 2:24

  7. magistramarla says

    You would love the Elkhorn Slough, which is just a few miles from my house.
    The slough is formed where the Salinas River flows into the Monterey Bay.
    I’ve heard that there are flora and fauna that grow and live there that can’t be found anywhere else in California.
    There is a nice safe boat tour which is suitable for a disabled person like me, so we plan to go there when three of
    our grandchildren are here to visit in July. There are also kayaking tours for the more adventurous.
    You are probably familiar with sloughs from your youth, but you have an open invitation if you ever want to see ours.

  8. silvrhalide says

    @5 Lucky you. It’s still too cold at night here for most frogs and toads–there are a few hardy (hopeful) souls but not many. The warm days though, have caused the maples to explode from “hopeful yellow haze” to “bright chartreuse full leaves” in a little over a week. And now everything is coated in yellow. My poor car. And cats.

    it was a raucous cacophony of birds shrieking and frogs trilling and croaking.

    translation: PICK ME! CHOOSE ME! LOVE ME! (with an aside of THIS IS MY TERRITORY/LEK, GO AWAY)

    Still, as mating displays go, nothing cracks me up more than the sage grouse displays. Not even the cardinal who picked a fight with his own reflection in my side view mirror.

    Except maybe Gary Larson.