Sunday, May 24, 2009

Flowers and such from Boch Hollow

On a recent trip to Boch Hollow in Hocking County, Ohio near Logan we had some great finds. Boch Hollow is a newly acquired property for DNAP and this was one of the first plant finding excursions. The Ohio Heritage Naturalists had scheduled a trip there.

You had to know it was a good day when you hop out of the car and are greeted with a Blue-headed Vireo singing its heart out. Had great looks at a gorgeous male Hooded Warbler, as well.

Lily-leaved Twayblade, Liparis liliifolia. Not to be confused with Lily-livered Twayblade which are fighting words, dag nabbit! This strange looking plant is in the orchid family.

Our lunchtime companion was Running Buffalo Clover, Trifolium stoloniferum. This is a federally endangered plant. Quite a good find for the new property. I am notorious for stepping on rare plants, so I was a bit nervous plopping down to eat lunch in an area where it was about everywhere. I guess I couldn't do much more damage than a buffalo, one would hope. Life plant for me and my pal, Cheryl. I did a Rico Suave life plant dance. She wisely abstained.

Firepinks, Silene virginica, were a welcome sight. Such bold, rich color. The star-shaped hummingbird-magnet is always a welcome find.

Indian Cucumber, Medeola virginiana. This is a member of the Lily family. I love the interesting flower. Another one with an unusual shape. This plant was so hard for me to photograph. I said a few choice words while trying to get in in focus. The blossom is so delicate, the camera wanted to focus only on the leaves. Bobby Sue Grenerth exclaimed I had about used up all the swear words available. Sorry, Bobby Sue! And in my defense, I think I had at least 5 more to use. :)

Dusky Salamander

I also found three species of salamanders, there: Southern Two-lined, Eurycea cirrigera, Red-backed, Plethodon cinereus, and Dusky, Desmognathus fuscus fuscus. And lots of them. I probably had a good 40 or so for the day. Pat Deering also found a rock covered with Southern Two-lined Salamander eggs.

We found this Eastern Phoebe nest at the end of our journey. How cute, their little heads barely peeping out of the nest!

Such a wonderful day with great company and lots of interesting finds!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Flora-Quest 2009

I spent last weekend, May 1st-3rd, with a wonderful group of folks in Southern Ohio enjoying the botanical gems of Scioto and Adams county at the annual celebration called Flora-Quest. And what a quest it was! We saw so many rare plants it could make one's head spin. And we were hiking in some of the most beautiful areas around. No better way to spend a weekend!

The evening talks were very enjoyable. Veteran naturalist Paul Knoop gave a great introduction to the amazing plants and animals in the region, many that our group encountered the following day. Many people were awestruck by the gorgeous photography of Ian Adams. He got a standing ovation! And, I think anyone who had not visited the Ohio Govenor's Residence and Heritage Garden wanted to after Guy Denny's fascinating talk.

I co-led hikes with Rick Gardner for Gung-Ho Botany. What a blast! Here are some of the highlights from our trips.

A view from Coyote Hollow in Adams County.
Our group is checking out this huge tree at one of our stops. Yep, this is one honkin' big tulip tree and Rick Gardner a.k.a Rico Suave is next to it for size comparison. One can easily fit inside it.

Yellow Lady's Slippers, Cypripedium parviflorum, were crowd-pleasers. This particular one has a unique double bloom.

Horse-Gentian, Triosteum angustifolium, has two small yellow blossoms near the base of the plant. It is a member of the honeysuckle family.

Showy Orchis, Galearis spectabilis, a minute orchid that is not much more than 4 inches tall.

One of the many waterfalls at Coyote Hollow.

Hoary Puccoon, Lithospermum canescens, with its cheery yellow
blossoms was a plant once used to dye cloth.
Plants with the word "puccoon" associated with
them means they were used for dye.

The rare Resurrection Fern, Pleopeltis polypodioides. This plant
will wilt and look almost deadin dry periods only to quickly
"resurrect" with a good dose of moisture.

Another beauty, the Pink Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium acaule.

I love the rich, red color of Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea.

A Lilliputian wonder in the gentian family, Pennywort, Obolaria virginica. This one was only about two inches tall.

Spotted Mandarin, Disporum maculatum,

was a new plant for me.

Spotted Mandarin from another angle so one

can view the tiny purple spots.

One of the rarities everyone wanted to see, the

gorgeous Wherry's Catchfly, Silene caroliniana var. wherryi, a cousin to Firepinks.

The showstopper that was the grand finale' for

our Sunday trips, the Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata, was

in full bloom with its vibrant yellow and red

blossoms cascading down the cliff face. What a sight!

I had such a great time at Flora-Quest, enjoying nature with some truly wonderful folks. I hope to see many of you again next year!