Photo: Bruce Miller
Part of last Saturday's expedition team members loll about the dried leaf litter of an Adams County forest. We were down there to see whatever it was that we could find, prioritizing plants, supposedly. Like these excursions often do, things degenerated into a bit of a natural history free-for-all as we ogled everything from dragonflies to lizards to butterflies. Distractions aside, we still managed to find lots of plants and I'll share a few of those in this post.
John Howard was along to help lead the affair and he is encyclopedic in his knowledge of Adams County's flora and fauna. A few other bloggers were in attendance and Heather of the Hills recorded some thoughts on the mission HERE, and Cindy Steffen's post is HERE.
NOTE: If wildflowers are what you quest for photographically, get on the ground with your subject. The angles and images are usually far more compelling than if one were to merely stand and shoot down at the subject.
HERE. Indian-paintbrush is also the official flower of this year's Flora-Quest, which you should consider attending if you want a real hand's-on immersion into southern Ohio's vast botanical treasure trove.
In the language of botany, there are innumerable terms to describe various types of hairiness, and this plant allowed me to introduce one of those terms to our group: flocculence. That word refers to the long woolly tufts that beset the leaf bases and lower portions of prairie groundsel, and for some reason the term tickled the fancy of a few of our expedition members. For the rest of the day flocculent was added to the name of nearly everything we saw.
Illustrating the quirks and foibles of botanists, I was actually more interested to see this obscure little grass in a weedy field across from the cross-vine. It is water foxtail, Alopecurus geniculatus, a plant that is found sparingly here and there in Ohio, and is thought to be of Eurasian origin. I had never seen it before and spent some time belly down on the weeds making photos of it while smarter companions admired showier fare such as the cross-vine.