Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pelee Marsh

The Marsh Boardwalk is a one kilometer trail which is close to the entrance of Point Pelee National Park. We stopped here first and looked out at a huge expanse of cattails that extended as far as the eye could see. The floating boardwalk is a most interesting extension into this marsh that otherwise would only be accessible by boat.

During the summer season, canoes are available for rent and fishing is allowed with a special license. We walked this area twice on the weekend and it was my husband's favourite spot in the park. He usually goes fishing for spring lake trout on Manitoulin Island the last week of April but the trip did not happen this year. Many fish were visible in the shallow water and he identified sunfish, bass and carp by sight. He was sure there were pike there as well.

We saw Painted Turtles sunning on various logs and roots and there was evidence of muskrat trails in the rushes. Water lilies and other aquatic plants were starting to grow toward the surface. Frogs were plentiful and while we saw only one garter snake, water snakes are also present in the area. I was surprised that there were few water birds other than several American Coots, a few Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks. A Raven and two Turkey Vultures flew overhead and Great Blue Herons were seen in the narrows closer to the roadway. We saw four Blue-winged Teal ducks the first day in a ditch north of the marsh. Red-winged Blackbirds were numerous and we saw one Marsh Wren near the observation tower.

The observation tower was most interesting because of the nesting Barn Swallows in the underparts of the structure. I have seldom seen these birds in a perched position but they rested on the tower and it was possible to get quite close to them. I like the composition of the picture Tim took above the marsh.

This nest was decorated by a very savvy pair of Barn Swallows who have a future in interior design. Most of the other nests were plain mud cups. I wonder who donated the feathers?

There were many benches along the boardwalk and it would have been pleasant to sit out for half a day in the fresh breeze and sunshine. If this had been the only trail in the park it would have been worth the admission price.

But there was far more to explore as we drove toward the point...


  1. Ruth,

    The photos of Pelee are beautiful. I also like the one taken from the tower.

    I love watching barn swallows nesting. When Mom & Dad lived on the farm, barn swallows always made their nests in the rafters of the garage. The would swoop and divebomb anyone who went near except for Dad. They seemed to know he meant them no harm.

    I also have a rhubarb patch that I just transplanted a week or so ago. It was at the back of the house and didn't get enough sun, so when I cleared out that bed, I put it out there in the full sun. It's really doing well.

    Take care and have a great week.

  2. What a lovely walk way, with the grass/reed so tall that you feel as though you are walking in the marsh.

    Do the pond freeze over in Winter? Are you allowed to feed the turtles, and ducks?

  3. Love seeing the barnies nesting, and what a beautiful shot over the marsh!

    I tried to email you Ruth, but got it returned. When you get a chance, could you email me at journeythroughgraceATgmailDOTcom? I need to pick your brain. Thanks!

  4. That looks like a beautiful place to visit Ruth. That barn swallow looks like he stole some stuffing from my down comforter!

  5. What a beautiful marsh! I can easily see how one spends a day or two there!

  6. Wow is that a picture of a snake from you? You are much braver then me. I won't stick around long enough to take a picture -lol.
    From what I remember, I think they have made Point Pelee more tourist friendly. The boardwalk is nicely done and looks easy to walk. That lucky barn swallow gets the best view all day long from the observation tower. I love the shiny colors the camera picked up on the barn swallow.

  7. These pictures only help to make me want to go to Pelee even more.The beauty is stunning.I can't wait to see more pictures.Thanks for sharing your time there.

  8. I just love boardwalks through marshes. This one seems particularly great. Nice photographs. I especially love the fancy swallow nest.

  9. I stood on the board walk these last fall and watched the huge carp gather race over to me (I think visitors there feed them, and they know the drill!) One of my favorite spots in the Park!

  10. Anonymous8:36 pm GMT-4

    We have a wetland preserve not to far from here, but nothing as amazing as this...

  11. It looks like you had a beautiful day there.The colors in the photos are so vibrant.

  12. Hah! I knew somebody in blogdom had some connection with fishing at Manitoulin. Now I remember who.

  13. Thanks to all who took the time to comment. Glad you enjoyed the tour!


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