Monday, June 1, 2009
Flowers and Befoulers: The Scene at Ballston Lake
Floating trash despoils the beauty of Ballston Lake.
(If you click on the photo, you can see a painted turtle turning up its nose at the mess.)
As I mentioned in my last post, I was on my way to Ballston Lake today, and yes, I made it, despite delays to visit flower friends along the way. I went to the lake to see all the Yellow Iris (Iris prismatica) that grows in a marshy area along the shore. This is not a native iris, but an escapee from gardens that has naturalized here and seems to be co-existing with our native Blue Flag (Iris versicolor) without displacing it. Let's hope the friendly alliance continues. It certainly is beautiful!
Equally beautiful is the Tuberous Water Lily (Nymphaea tuberosa) that grows abundantly in Ballston Lake. It looks pretty much like Sweet-scented Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata), except that it has no fragrance and its leaves are green underneath, not red.
A flooded marsh runs along both sides of the road. Magnificent sprays of Royal Fern and Cinnamon Fern grow in masses, and later in the season fragrant wild roses fill the air with perfume, and Pickerel Weed raises spikes of vivid purple.
The brown spore stalks of Royal Fern contrast with the vivid green of its fronds
Now, wouldn't you think that all this beauty would inspire the folks who visit here not to despoil it? Dream on! There's a parking lot and a fishing pier near where these flowers grow, so it's just too darn easy for every slob in the county to access it. The closer the public can drive to a spot, the more beer cans and bait boxes litter the ground. And float on the water.
Spicebush Swallowtail spreads its wings to the sun
This butterfly came along to distract me from my anger over the mess. A Spicebush Swallowtail. I laughed, recalling a post I saw on another blog, Swamp Things, showing Zebra Swallowtails feasting on a pile of bear poop. Yeah, life is full of contrasts, isn't it? But I'd much prefer bear poop to beer cans, bait boxes, and dirty diapers thrown in the bushes.