Tag Archive | Wetlands

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

In pine barren forests on Long Island in New York, May is the time of year for an explosion of growth in the spring woodlands. The leaves of red maples, scarlet oaks, black gums and various heaths have fully extended to absorb the sun’s energizing rays. As I walk down a path through freshwater wetlands, […]

The Tasty Fern

The Tasty Fern

One summer day, when I was walking along a wetland trail in New York, I was about to cross a small spring fed brook, when I happened across a muskrat. I stopped dead in my tracks to observe it without frightening the muskrat away. It walked up to a four-foot tall royal fern and proceeded […]

The Delicate Marsh Fern

The Delicate Marsh Fern

An intermediate sized fern of the eastern U.S., the marsh fern prefers the wet soils of freshwater wetlands. Fern leaves are called fronds. The shape of the frond and how it is divided helps to identify it. Marsh fern has a sterile frond (a leaf without spores) with many leaflets that are also divided. Marsh […]

The Sensitive Fern

Curious? You are not going to hurt the feelings of this fern. It is a fern sensitive to cold weather and the fall frosts. Like many ferns, it grows in freshwater wetlands and moist woodlands in the eastern half of the U.S.

The Hairy Fern

The Hairy Fern

One of the earliest ferns to poke through the ground in freshwater wetlands in the eastern U.S. and Canada is the Cinnamon Fern. As is true of many ferns when this plant first appears, it looks like the top of a fiddle thus it is called a fiddle head. This “fiddle” will unfurl into a […]

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

The “Warm-blooded” Plant

  It is March and the wetlands in the northeast U.S. are still frozen. The landscape is gray with leafless trees and shrubs. The ground is covered with decaying leaves, pockets of ice and in some places snow. Yet for as bleak as this environment looks, the first sign of spring appears. Flower heads of […]

A Duck That Nests in Trees

A Duck That Nests in Trees

In pine barren wetlands, on New York’s Long Island, where black gum and red maple trees dominate the landscape, a mother wood duck calls to her ducklings from the edge of a small pond. The ducklings are only a day old and covered in down. They are still in the nesting cavity of an old […]