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!

Not a native iris, but certainly a lovely one

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.

Tuberous Water Lily

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.


forgingahead said...

I have become more and more aghast at how people can feel so comfortable just leaving their mess behind. It is hard to go anywhere anymore without finding evidence of someone having cluttered the place before us.

Julia said...

Great blog, wonderful photos. Found you on the Nature Blog Network. I really like the butterflies you have shown.

I battle garbage too. We could pick up trash every time we go on an outing.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

forgingahead and Julia: Thanks for stopping by and for leaving your supportive comments. I enjoyed visiting both of your blogs and I was mighty impressed! I'm delighted at the kind of access this blogging process provides to so many great photos and interesting commentary. Thanks for letting me in on your worlds.