Time for a break and some good news.
In recent years a New Brunswick, Canada, marsh has been lacking of natural life. While the trees have remained healthy and steady for the most part (though many were still rotting and going out like a light) and the surrounding bushes still glowed green with colourful flowers in the sunlight, animals have been at a minimal. In my regular marsh trips, I have only seen one tortoise, some crows and a few small birds, a dragonfly here or there, one eagle, and toads which themselves even stopped appearing.
One factor in this decline could possibly be the expansion of the nearby, though distant, highway from a two-lane to a four-lane. Perhaps this slight decrease of space has put off some animals in choosing the marsh as their own. Or perhaps it has been the late start to summer that we have been experiencing the past little while. Last year it snowed at the start of June, and we didn't reach our annual high (80-110 degrees F) until late August. This may put a knot in the animals' hibernation and/or migration schedules.
However, this year proved different. Noticeable for walk one, the marsh's plant life is its usual strong self, but the animal life has experienced a sudden boom! It started with the notice of a few extra eagles, three or four male and female ducks previously not attending, and an osprey with babies on an unused nesting post. This sudden surprise had me giddy and I took some photographs of the contents of the marshland. Then, a couple weeks later, geese. Two large Canadian geese had took an outer pond surrounding the marsh as their own. This increase in population has also decreased some usual pests like deer/horse flies.
Geese swim in the nearby pond.
The question remains as to what made for this surprise. Perhaps it is that this summer has been the perfect mix of rain and sun. Or maybe that the temperature has remained quite high this year (70-90 degrees F the past two months). Whatever the factor is, something is going right somewhere.
The only thing still missing is snakes. Perhaps that for some is a good thing.