Friday, May 13, 2011

May 11, 2011 Boots A Must at Stark Nature Preserve

Pigeon River on west side of the Stark Nature Preserve
The flooded floodplain
ACRES Stark Nature Preserve is a fitting example of a northern floodplain forest, bordered by the Pigeon River.  It is along IN SR120, west of Howe.  Silver Maple are the dominant trees, but there are also Swamp White Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Shagbark Hickory, Hackberry, and others.

Knee boots were a must on the partially flooded trail today.  Nonetheless wildflowers were blooming.  White Springcress, Golden Ragwort, Buttercup and Cursed Crowfoot grow especially well in soggy ground.

White Springcress, Cardamine bulbosa

Golden Ragwort, Packera aurea

Swamp Buttercup, Ranunculus hispidus (not certain of species)

Cursed Crowfoot, Ranunculus sceleratus
Cursed Crowfoot in standing water
There are also wildflowers in this low,wet woods that we find in higher woods, e.g.,  May-Apple, Blue Phlox, Wild Ginger, Spring Beauty, and many, many Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
May-Apple, Podophyllum pellatum
Blue Phlox, Phlox divaricata
Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense
Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
 Notice that some of the Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, pictured above, is missing, perhaps browsed by deer.  There were many browsed Jack-in-the Pulpit throughout the woods.  Deer tracks were all along the trail.
Deer tracks on the muddy trail

In addition to the wildflowers mentioned above, there were the the following:

Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia
Cleavers,  Galium aparine
Gooseberry, Ribes species

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