DISPATCH FROM PETRIE, #142 OCTOBER, 2023
I didn’t get down to Petrie until the last week of the month, and it was the middle of the day when things are quieter.
I noticed right away one sign that winter is coming…. the ice fishing huts were being lined up, and the muskie “lodge” was already in the water.
The fall colours, which hadn’t been all that great this year, were still hangin on around the Islands.
Sumach leaves were very much in evidence with their red fall colouring.
The virginia creeper leaves also turn a bright red in the fall
Some (pignut) hickory leaves were slowly turning colour
It’s interesting that when I first started visiting Petrie some 25 years ago, that there was not a Canada Goose to be found, now they are very numerous, to say the least.
One group of Canada Geese were being very noisy, splashing about. They seemed to be taking a bath, flipping over on their backs to get thoroughly wet. Water was flying everywhere.
In the midst of it all, I didn’t see the egret in the reeds in front of the geese until a few minutes into the raucous
A few geese and some mallards were enjoying a siesta on the logs normally reserved for the turtles.
Not only did I initially miss seeing the egret, I completely missed the great blue heron until I got home and noticed it in one of the photos. It isn’t a great photo, but they frequently have started to head south by now. (It is there, look at the bottom left????????)
A pair of wood ducks were warily keeping their distance from me as they are wont to do..
Mallards on the other hand just ignore people as they swim about.
A flock of about 50 lesser scaups (I think) were scared up by a lone goose flying up the middle of the river. The ducks flew down river for about 300 yards, then turned back and settled again. Despite my long lens, the ducks were still a long way off so no great photos. But I don’t recall seeing a flock of teals before at Petrie. Note added: probably lesser scaups, not teals.
A lone cormorant was basking in the sun, taking a break from his fishing
With many leaves having fallen from the trees, bird nests are no longer invisible
Some of the bittersweet berries were starting to “crack open” and revealed their seeds
The berries of carrion flower, highbush cranberries and buckthorn were hanging for all to see.
A few small black grapes were on the vine at the end of the Bill Holland Trail
Burdock (burrs) with their hooked spines, were in prime condition to grab onto your clothes as you walk by
Asters and thistles have gone to seed
Ferns had enjoyed a nice summer and were in the midst of dying back
There weren’t many mushrooms and fungus to be found
Visitors were enjoying the Islands from the water
In a shady spot walking back to the car, the grass was covered with rain drops from the past few days