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)
Knapweed
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…