May 7, 2015 – In a marshy area on the pond’s low-lying western shore, cattails and other marsh plants are putting up green shoots.

This small wetland has a huge impact, providing food, protection and a nursery for a diverse community of  dragonflies, fish, waterfowl, mammals and turtles. Sadly, wetlands are disappearing at a stunning pace. Were it not for the beavers that flooded this area with their dam, the cattail marsh would not exist. The tiny stream dammed by the beavers has no marshy areas on its banks and holds little water.

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Canada Geese are frequent visitors to the cattail marsh, and are prone to splashy arrivals.

The pond’s abundance of organic matter supports a large population of turtles; also insects and their larvae that provide food for the pond’s bluegills and birds like the Eastern Kingird.

Numerous wildflowers, shrubs and trees are blooming now.

Woodpeckers are still easy to spot on trees where leaves have not reached their full growth. I see more Downy Woodpeckers than any other.

Many of the park’s animals are easily viewed from the Beaver Pond trail. Sone will even come out on the trail to meet you!

This Gray Catbird was foraging for food on the trail when it spotted me. I stood still for several minutes, taking its picture and the bird nonchalantly resumed its activity with an occasional glance at me to be sure I hadn’t come any closer. This is typical behavior for catbirds, who seem to find humans interesting. Besides the dark gray cap on its head, the catbird can be identified by the rust-colored feathers underneath its tail, which it raises frequently as it moves along.

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