Last Friday we continued our explorations of corridor sites. This site was originally a wet prairie, but has become overgrown.
The low areas would normally have dried out by now, but the extra rain has kept them wet and several species of fern were thriving. We were glad we brought an ample supply of DEET.
This fungus made a nice pattern on a fallen birch.
New mourning cloak emerge at this time of year. They prefer the sap of trees, especially Oaks. This fellow will estivate for much of the remainder of the summer, then feed again before over-wintering. He will be one of the first butterflies flying next spring.
Squaw Root feeds on Oaks as well. It is also known as Bear Corn, especially when it has gone to seed, as these have. As a saprophyte it does not need chlorophyll. These seeds will grow down toward the oak roots, where they obtain their energy. They will continue to grow under ground until they emerge next spring and flower.