At the very end of the boardwalk which leads into Explore the Wild there is a patch of smartweed. Smartweed, as you know, will make your mouth smart if you eat it. That is, smartweed is hot and spicy and may make your mouth hurt, or feel the heat, should you eat the stuff.
I’m convinced that this patch of smartweed remains in the Wetlands due to its undesirable taste. Even the invasive red swamp crayfish shuns the weed (most of the time).
I keep a sharp lookout for critters in the smartweed. Typically, during an average August or September day I may see anywhere from half to a dozen green treefrogs in the spicy weed. There’s usually a mixture of adults and juveniles, and sometimes there’s a gray treefrog in the mix.
So far this year I’ve only been able to spot one green and one very tiny gray treefrog. The gray has since moved on, or been eaten, but the green tree frog is reliably found each day.
If you gaze down into the smartweed you may also see a smartweed caterpillar, a handsome katydid, and now, since the plant is blooming, a variety of nectar loving flying insects like bees, wasps, butterflies, and different fly species coming in for the sweet liquid.
So, if you’re on your way to see the wolves, you have to pass this patch of smartweed. You might as well lean over the rail of the boardwalk and have a look, you may see something staring back at you.