Friday, March 30, 2012

March Marsh

All this week I have been making posts describing what is going on in our marsh.  I plan this to be a regular feature to document the changes that go on month-to-month.  So today's submission talks a little about the marsh itself.  We get a great view of what is going on thanks this folly from a previous owner.  We have a 600 ft long pier that stretches from the back of our yard out to a tidal creek that leads to the Chesapeake Bay.  Although the marsh is wide on our side of the creek, we are the only ones with access from this side.  So while the property is only 60 ft wide, we get to enjoy the entire thing without visual interruption. But I can not imagine what convinced the previous owner to build it.  Especially since he built it all by himself.  But we sure enjoy the his labors; it is what convinced us to buy the house.

We have a fair number of deer that live in the marsh and the nearby fields and yards.  It makes it hard on my wife's garden, especially since our deer are illiterate and do not read the "deer-proof" plant tags and eat them anyways.  There are also raccoons out here and muskrats.  So at several places there are paths worn down through the grass.  When the tide is high or we have had a lot of rain, the paths flood like in the picture below.  It is not uncommon for us to scare a deer out from under the pier as we start walking out or see them flash their white-tails as the disappear into the taller grasses and phragmites.

Animal path flooded during high tide
 Looking out the other direction (east) there is a small tributary, if you can call a 100 yard long arm of a creek a tributary, that runs back behind some other houses.  Along the edge are several small trees that have grown up on higher land.  These trees make good perches for birds.  Of late there have been several Red-winged Blackbirds that have abutting territories along the trees.  So we will see two or even three blackbirds up in the tops of the trees calling away or sitting with their backs to each other watching over their territory.  Soon they will start nesting.  The call of the blackbirds (a raspy conk-a-reeee) is one of the thrilling sounds of the marsh.  The trees also make for a good middle distance interest for taking photographs. 

 During dryer periods, there are several open mud spots that form where the grasses haven't taken and we will occasionally see shorebirds stopping by for a bite.

At the end of the pier is a small boat dock where we keep a canoe for quick trips out onto the creek.  For longer trips we drag out kayaks all the way out there.  It sure is nice to have water access but it takes nearly as long to carry both boats the 900 ft to the creek as it does to drive to the local boat dock and drop them off at the water's edge.  This is probably the most photogenic in the pier and my go-to location for marsh photos.  On this day it was foggy so the view isn't great but I will be posting more in the future that should really show off the beauty of the creek.

I hope you enjoyed this quick introduction the our marsh and come back for more.

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