Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge – Take 1

While in the Finger Lakes region, I visited the Montezuma Refuge twice.  The first time was Saturday – a clear evening, just at sunset… a silly time to try to see birds, since the visitor center is on the east side of the wetland.  The sun was very harsh and I could barely stand to look at the water, even though there were tons and tons of birds out there…  I contented myself with some wildflower pictures:

I was particularly taken by these huge hibiscis-like flowers:Swamp Rose Mallow
When I looked them up, I found they are in the hibiscus family.  They’re called Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus palustris).

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria):
Purple Loosestrife
This plant got a bad rap when it was first introduced and it spread like wildfire, seemingly on a mission to displace natives, such as cattails.  It seems now, though I don’t know what scientists would have to say about my observation, that it has integrated itself into our landscapes and grows in balance beside the cattails.  What is your observation?

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)
This non-native, on the other hand, I seldom see singly, rather in large patches.  I wonder if it will eventually come into balance with other grassland plants?

I took a little stroll on the “Seneca Trail” which loops from the Visitor Center, along the river, then back.  There were pretty reflections on the still water:

River Reflections

After a blinding drive around the big marsh, sun in my eyes the whole way… I decided to head for bed and return in the morning when the sun would be behind me… I’ll tell you about that next time…

10 thoughts on “Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge – Take 1

  1. I did a post on loosestrife last week. I’d learned a bit back in school about it, and got my prof to send me the papers and such he had on hand, which I summarized. Essentially what’s been shown is that loosestrife has a hard time invading healthy, established wetlands and doesn’t spread, but highly disturbed wetlands can develop monocultures because the loosestrife prevents native vegetation from moving back in. Basically, the amount of loosestrife in a wetland is proportional to the disturbance and health of the wetland (the loosestrife is there because the wetland is unhealthy, not the wetland is unhealthy because the loosestrife is there).

  2. Great photos and what a beautiful area. When I saw ‘Montezuma’, I thought it was the one I visited last year out west (a lot drier there – lol). My visit was to Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s Well. Your photos make me want to take a trip here one day. Enjoyed your blog very much.

  3. We have driven by the refuge so many times and often commented that we need to take some time to visit, but we seem to always be “heading” someplace that does not allow time to linger.

    Can’t wait to see what you have for us on another installment.

  4. I hope that means you’re out having fun and keeping busy! There’s so much good writing out there, I have a tough time keeping up on all the blogs I like to read, too. When I moved, after having been offline for a week, I gave up on trying to catch up from where I’d left off, and just started fresh from that point. If I’d tried to read everything, I would’ve been there for days!

  5. Like Denise, my first thought was of the site in Arizona which I quite enjoyed visiting. But this equally lovely, in a very different way, and I can see why you love and enjoy it.

  6. Pingback: Montezuma Wildlife Refuge - Take 2 « Confessions of a Reluctant Birder

  7. Pingback: Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge - Take 2 « A Passion for Nature

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