Friday, December 22, 2006

A notice to our readers

The three of you may be wondering what happended to all the fiction, fable, and myth that I had posted on this site. Maybe you aren't wondering. I assume that you are reading this right now, but how could I tell. At any rate, should you wonder, I migrated it to another blog. I might bring it all back here if I get a notion. I don't know. Some say it discredits me to have illusionary tales intermingled with hard science. They say the professional community would be appalled, flee in horror, blacklist me for life, banish me to a primitive hunter-gatherer existence played out in dumpsters across the land. There it is again. See, maybe I can't keep the stories out of here. Maybe I am doomed. Where is the park bench, I am coming home.
If you have any complaints, you can cope with them by various methods of stress management.

Captured on Film

Well, here are more of the rare plants I came across this summer. These were found in Minnesota:

1) Arethusa bulbosa (Dragon's mouth), Superior National Forest, east of Ely, Minnesota. Found in a moderately rich fen¹ or Northern Rich Fen² or commonly called an open bog. I estimated something like 5000 of the plants.

2) Taxus canadensis (Canada yew), Superior National Forest, west of Grand Marais, Minnesota. There were thousands of these deer-mangled plants scattered across various wetlands. Most were Rich Conifer Swamps¹ or Northern Cedar Swamp².

3) Carex vaginata (Sheathed sedge), Superior National Forest, east of Ely, Minnesota. I found about four populations scattered about the district. These are not rare in Minnesota, but are rare in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, it was a treat to find it. Again, Rich Conifer Swamp¹ or Northern Cedar Swamp².

4) Dryopteris fragrans (Fragrant Fern), Superior National Forest, east of Ely, Minnesota. Two plants on a rock outcrop. Not rare in Minnesota, but rare in Wisconsin. Fragrant when the frond is crushed, hence the name.

5) Platanthera hookeri (Hooker's orchid), Superior National Forest, east of Ely, Minnesota. In Aspen/Birch/Fir forest, a rat's nest of dead and fallen confiers, dense Hazelnut, Aspen suckers, and Fir seedlings, a forest type that is ubiquitous in the Great Lakes region, and fire dependent. The orchid is not rare in Minnesota, but is in Wisconsin.

¹A. G. Harris and others, 1996. Field Guide to the Wetland Ecosystem Classification for Northwestern Ontario. Northwest Science and Technology. Thunder Bay, Ontario.
² Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2003. Field Guide to the Native Plant Communties of Minnesota: the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province. MNDNR. St. Paul, MN.