The rising tide of green at Nahant Marsh has turned into high summer. A summer thoroughly watered by frequent thunderstorms, and as lush and as green as could possibly be desired. The prairie meadows are dense and thick with green and growing things, bright with blooms, heavy with seeds, buzzing and thrumming with life. All the usual summer residents are there.
The meadows are alive with busy insects. Many are as familiar as old friends, reliably seen every summer. Although some, like the monarch butterflies, have been in decline, at Nahant Marsh a food source and nursery is still available. The marsh’s wide variety of plants attracts many different insects, some quite strange, and all of them busily going about their summer business.
Of course, all these insects make tasty meals for many of the marsh’s other residents. The abundance of a lush summer is a good time for feeding baby birds, and there are lots of nests, eggs, hatchlings, ducklings and juveniles already as big as their parents. They can be rather hard to spot in the lush abundance of a green and growing summer however. Lush vegetation provides good cover.
The exuberant profusion of growth can easily hide full grown sandhill cranes. The sandhills have returned to the marsh for another season. Sometimes they can be seen out in the open, at the edge where green meets water. When they disappear into the greenery they truly disappear, submerging into a thickness of green. It would no doubt be surprising to know of the creatures so near yet so unseen when visiting the marsh in summer.
The summer is full of unseen creatures, but you never know. One warm summer morning I spotted dozens of baby wood ducks out on the marsh—a big group there, still covered in down and scarcely a few days out of the shell, a slightly smaller group there, nearly half mom’s size already, yet another group over there…who knew there were so many baby wood ducks?
Yet the very next morning, packing my big lens, I couldn’t find a single one. You never know what you might find at any given time, but you are sure to see something colorful and interesting. Nahant Marsh is full of much to see and there is no better time than now. Go enjoy summer while it’s still lush and green.