I was down at Hayne's Point again yesterday - yes, my favourite park - and checking out what was starting to pop out for Spring. This park is not only a protected wetlands reserve, but it is also home to an abundance of Antelope Brush, which is one of the most endangered plants in Canada! In fact, the "Antelope Brush Ecosystem" is one of the 4 most endangered ecosystems in Canada.
Once I 'googled' antelope brush, I managed to find out a lot of information about this 'endangerment' and some interesting articles/studies done about them. If you're interested in all that environmental stuff, click here to read more.
So, I could see that these plants were nearing their blossom time. I searched through the bushes in the sunniest location and managed to find a few open blossoms already. A few more warm sunny days & they should all start popping open. Hope to go back there this coming weekend & see if they are ready yet.
This is how the bushes look right now. In the winter & fall, when they have no leaves at all. They look rather menacing. Black leggy creatures spread out in the sandy valley. Almost like a big spider or something. I always think they look like the creatures from the movie "Starship Troopers". It was a cheesey space movie about killer bugs (but I loved it) and winter antelope brush always makes me think of it.
Because Haynes Point is, as the sign above states, a sensitive wetland preserve, people are advised to stick to the trails & not wander into the grasses or trailsides so as not to damage any of this delicate ecosystem. Now I realize that it is not only for the ecosystems' protection but for ours too. Because this sort of ecosystem not only contains grasses & different sorts of brush, but if you're not careful, you can stumble into a big pile of CACTUS!
I was just about to kneel down on the edge of the path to photograph these antelope brush blossoms when I looked down and saw that I was almost about to kneel in this pile of those prickly beauties. Yikes! That would have been a most unwelcome surprise. So instead, I knelt in the middle of the path & attempted to get some photos of the cacti themselves.
Thinking I was might lucky to have avoided that unpleasant shock, I suddenly looked down at myself wondering if they could sporadically jump out and attack me. Guess I stepped too close to the edge of the path because sticking out of my shoe was this image below...