In my last post, about the spider-killing wasp, I mentioned the botanical foray that Rick Gardner, Ray Showman and I made last Sunday. We found many interesting things beyond that wasp, some we knew we'd see, others were new discoveries. The site that we explored was put on the botanical map earlier this year by Rick, who is botanist for ODNR's Division of Natural Areas. The fact that he found the place that we'll soon be trekking into via this blog is VERY impressive. Not only is it WAY off the beaten path, Rick is one of few botanists in the state who would have recognized some of the plants that we'll be visiting.
Ray Showman is author of the book Macrolichens of Ohio, the state's leading expert on lichens, and an all around great botanist. I've spent plenty of time in the field with these guys, and it is always a treat and I come away knowing much more than when we started.
We found a fascinating hybrid sedge - hybrid plants often look better than do the parents - and it apparently was previously unknown. We'll get to that in a bit.
The pink line roughly traces the route we took through the backwoods of Gallia County, in part of the Wayne National Forest. From the narrow gravel lane, we traipsed over hill and dale, finally working our way back to some fascinating swamp forest and buttonbush wetlands along a stream known as Lick Run.
Well, I don't want to make this a War and Peace of a blog post, so we'll return tomorrow for a look at some gorgeous and rare sedges, including the new hybrid.