May is American Wetlands Month, which I have written about a few times here. The way we like to celebrate is to find a wetland nearby and spend a couple hours exploring and learning about the area. Luckily there is a wetland a few miles from our house. Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve is a 54 acre, city-owned wetland and nature reserve that is open to the public. It features a series of trails designed for nature viewing and recreation. Along the way there is a series of interpretative signs with lots of information about wetlands and the flora and fauna that call them home.
One cloudy Sunday morning, Sierra and I ventured out to our neighborhood wetland. What follows is a photo diary of a few of the things we saw while we were there.
The southwest corner of Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve
One of the coolest features of the reserve is this bat house called HaBATat.
Seed head of teasel (Dipsacus fullonum); behind it are a series of bird nests designed for various species of cavity nesters.
Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) with a view of one of the ponds behind it.
We visited shortly after the cottonwoods (Populus spp.) had dropped their fluffy seeds.
Interpretive signage like this teach visitors about the various features and benefits of wetlands.
Walkways like this one allow for a closer view of the wetlands and feature additional interpretive signage.
Sierra spots something in the shrubbery.
Perhaps it was this yellow-headed blackbird.
Or maybe this male mallard.
One strange-looking, yellow-leaved branch among the willows (Salix sp.); Sierra and I wondered why.
Some wrinkly mushrooms that Sierra discovered.
We kept seeing this interesting insect on the flower heads of the grasses.
The butt of a bumblebee on the flowers of yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis), captured by Sierra.
What wetlands did you visit this May? Let us know in the comment section below.