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After what seemed like a long winter, the wetland is already coming into flower.

and a yellow blossom


Gelbblütiger Fingerstrauch


Pentacon AV 2.8/80

Taken at my friend's ranch near Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada.


A summertime leftover taken before the autumn deluge had begun in September (while it was still officially summer, mind you).


I was sitting down relaxing on the ground last June. The grass was sprinkled with an array of wild flowers in an old clear cut. The area at hand was replete with new growth like willows, hardhack, and young alders. It was there that I found this cautious but curious fellow.


And, I might overabundance of mosquitoes!


Clay-coloured Sparrow

Most of the plants in the wetland lake are deciduous and look dead in the winter. That's hardhack, Spiraea douglasii, which is just coming into flower.

Taken at my friend's ranch near Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada.


Sitting down on the grass sprinkled with an array of wild flowers in an old clear cut that supports new growth like willows, hardhack, and young alders, one often finds a curious fellow like this.


And, I might overabundance of mosquitoes!


Clay-coloured Sparrow

Spiraea douglasii


Viaduct Flats, Saanich, BC


This intensely pink flower has to be confusing to bees and butterflies with its hundreds of blossoms and thousands of stamens. Little chance of a potential pollinator getting away with a free lunch here.

golden hardhack (Dasiphora fruticosa)





The water level is below my waterproof boots in this area. The first time that I've got past the hardhack this year. The hardhack circles the deep part of the lake.

Taken at Campbell Valley Park, Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Don't show up without some seed to offer him or he'll show you where you stand in the pecking order!


Black-capped Chickadee

Taken near Mission, British Columbia, Canada.


Another shot from a recent encounter.


MacGillivray's Warbler

golden hardhack (Dasiphora fruticosa)





It's still mud out to the trees, and it's pretty damp in spots. Looking forward to the rains of the fall.

Male Common Yellowthroat taken in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada by David.


I found this guy and his mate on one of the many dikes that run throughout the Pitt Poulder. I watched for about fifteen minutes as he kept foraging in the same area and took note of his favourite perches. Then I hid, crouching in the long grass, waiting for him to return. He kept gathering a beak full of bugs and then flying into a thicket of Hardhack about twenty yards away across a channel where he likely had a fresh brood of hungry babies. At first he was wary of my presence and chose to forage at some distance from me. Eventually though he grew used to me and kept approaching closer and closer until I managed to get some satisfactory shots. The catch? I waited, alternating between kneeling and crouching, surrounded by a constant horde of mosquitoes for three hours.


Life with a point a shoot...



From the main trail into the wetland which is dry now.

Outside my door.

A daffodil (narcissus) grows between the branches of a spiraea shrub. Looks as if it is behind bars! LOL! :-D

The shallow waters by the little peninsula that extends into the wetland lake.

Standing in the lake. Still very shallow water.

I was standing on a trail at Willband Creek this morning when I suddenly became aware that a flock of Bushtits had landed in the bushes near me. They twittered it up and went from bush to bush and I managed a few images. And then they flew further down the path.

Spiraea douglasii that dominates the shallow parts of the wetland lake. Still very dormant.

Hardhack (Spiraea Douglasii), also known as "steeple bush". Native to the Pacific Northwest.




Bradley Lake, Puyallup, WA | July 2009.



A high spot, the water hasn't gotten here yet. I.m sure that this area will be flooded soon.

Still a lot of water in the lake at this time. June 9, 2018.

Wild Grapes


What tree may not the fig be gathered from?

The grape may not be gathered from the birch?

It's all you know the grape, or know the birch.

As a girl gathered from the birch myself

Equally with my weight in grapes, one autumn,

I ought to know what tree the grape is fruit of.

I was born, I suppose, like anyone,

And grew to be a little boyish girl

My brother could not always leave at home.

But that beginning was wiped out in fear

The day I swung suspended with the grapes,

And was come after like Eurydice

And brought down safely from the upper regions;

And the life I live now's an extra life

I can waste as I please on whom I please.

So if you see me celebrate two birthdays,

And give myself out of two different ages,

One of them five years younger than I look.


One day my brother led me to a glade

Where a white birch he knew of stood alone,

Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves,

And heavy on her heavy hair behind,

Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.

Grapes, I knew grapes from having seen them last year.

One bunch of them, and there began to be

Bunches all round me growing in white birches,

The way they grew round Leif the Lucky's German;

Mostly as much beyond my lifted hands, though,

As the moon used to seem when I was younger,

And only freely to be had for climbing.

My brother did the climbing; and at first

Threw me down grapes to miss and scatter

And have to hunt for in sweet fern and hardhack;

Which gave him some time to himself to eat,

But not so much, perhaps, as a boy needed.

So then, to make me wholly self-supporting,

He climbed still higher and bent the tree to earth

And put it in my hands to pick my own grapes.

"Here, take a tree-top, I'll get down another.

Hold on with all your might when I let go."

I said I had the tree. It wasn't true.

The opposite was true. The tree had me.

The minute it was left with me alone

It caught me up as if I were the fish

And it the fishpole. So I was translated

To loud cries from my brother of "Let go!

Don't you know anything, you girl? Let go!"

But I, with something of the baby grip

Acquired ancestrally in just such trees

When wilder mothers than our wildest now

Hung babies out on branches by the hands

To dry or wash or tan, I don't know which,

(You'll have to ask an evolutionist).

I held on uncomplainingly for life.

My brother tried to make me laugh to help me.

"What are you doing up there in those grapes?

Don't be afraid. A few of them won't hurt you.

I mean, they won't pick you if you don't them."

Much danger of my picking anything!

By that time I was pretty well reduced

To a philosophy of hang-and-let-hang.

"Now you know how it feels," my brother said,

"To be a bunch of fox-grapes, as they call them,

That when it thinks it has escaped the fox

By growing where it shouldn't on a birch,

Where a fox wouldn't think to look for it.

And if he looked and found it, couldn't reach it.

Just then come you and I to gather it.

Only you have the advantage of the grapes

In one way: you have one more stem to cling by,

And promise more resistance to the picker."


One by one I lost off my hat and shoes,

And still I clung. I let my head fall back,

And shut my eyes against the sun, my ears

Against my brother's nonsense; "Drop," he said,

"I'll catch you in my arms. It isn't far."

(Stated in lengths of him it might not be.)

"Drop or I'll shake the tree and shake you down."

Grim silence on my part as I sank lower,

My small wrists stretching till they showed the banjo strings.

Why, if she isn't serious about it!

Hold tight awhile till I think what to do.

I'll bend the tree down and let you down by it.

I don't know much about the letting down;

But once I felt ground with my stocking feet

And the world came revolving back to me,

I know I looked long at my curled-up fingers,

Before I straightened them and brushed the bark off.

My brother said: "Don't you weigh anything?

Try to weigh something next time, so you won't

Be run off with by birch trees into space."


It wasn't my not weighing anything

So much as my not knowing anything

My brother had been nearer right before.

I had not taken the first step in knowledge;

I had not learned to let go with the hands,

As still I have not learned to with the heart,

And have no wish to with the heart nor need,

That I can see. The mind is not the heart.

I may yet live, as I know others live,

To wish in vain to let go with the mind

Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me

That I need learn to let go with the heart.


- Robert Frost

Some species of bee or other hymenoptera (ID anyone?) on a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) flower.


Gatunek (ID?) pszczoły albo innej błonkówki na kwiecie pięciornika krzewiastego (Dasiphora fruticosa).


The grass hangs in there, but dies back. And the seasonal lake fills up in the fall through the spring.

These wetland trees spend time standing in water during the winter. They don't get big,

- Unknown -


From my parents' huge and beautiful garden, where one can spend forever photographing without getting tired ; )


My album of more beautiful flowers:


...and more beautiful insects:


Everything in the wetland is flowering, except for the grasses. The water from the winter is still fairy deep. We won't have any real rain until the fall, the wetland shouldn't dry out this summer.

Spiraea douglasii covers the shallow waters of the lake.

Howard Co. Conservancy Bio Blitz

Woodstock, Ellicott City Quad, Howard County, MD

12 August 2017

Spiraea douglasii, or hardhack, is a deciduous plant that thrives in a wet environment.

View large

Violet follicles in a frenzy.


Spiraea douglasii, is a fast-growing, 4-5' deciduous shrub. Its rose flowers grow in lovely clusters and emerge in June-September. This spiraea is native to moist places, usually in forests, below 6000 ft. elevation, from northern California to British Columbia. This plant is very adaptable as grows in sun to part shade, will tolerate a lot of water, but can become somewhat drought tolerant if grown with other plants and in semi-shade.

I'm standing in the hardhack, the ground is drying out in this area. Still, lots of water in the soil.

Wetland plants,Spiraea douglasii fills most of the lake, to the trees.


Spiraea douglasii spends the winter standing in water. Grass is the lake plant that stays green in the winter lake.In the spring all of the lake plants green up.In the heat of the summer the lake shrinks to a small pond.

Common Name(s): Douglas Spirea; Pink Spirea; Rose Spirea, Steeplebush, Hardhack.


Scientific Name: Spiraea douglasii. Spiraea comes from the Greek word, speira, which refers to wreaths, or garlands. It is for this reason that species of spirea are often referred to as bridal-wreath shrubs. Douglasii was named after the Scottish botanist David Douglas.

Hardhack - " It is native to western North America from Alaska across southwestern Canada and the Pacific Northwest. It occurs most often in riparian habitat types, such as swamps, streambanks, bogs and mudflats.[1] It grows among sedges, horsetails, wild blueberries, and other swamp flora.[1] The plant is a woolly shrub growing 1 to 2 meters tall from rhizomes, forming dense riverside thickets.[1] Large clusters of small pink flowers form spires in early summer, later turning dark and persisting. The leaves are toothed toward the tips." - Wikipedia


As always, thoughtful feedback and suggestions are always appreciated.

Use of this photo without permission is not cool. Please contact me if you would like to use it.

Red alders seen through hardhack (spirea).

Spiraea douglasii; Hardhack

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