Where the Wild Things Are- Hogworts

Mad Dog Skull Cap, Bulbet Bearing Water Hemlock, Touch-me-not, Lobster Fungi. It sounds like a recipe out of Harry Potter! These and many more plants are still amazing me as I find and document them. The name of the Marsh Bellflower eluded me for a couple weeks before I found out what that tiny plant was. The bright colors of ripening berries tempts me to look all around, instead of keeping my face to the ground. But I might miss something! If I hadn't been bent, almost to my hands and knees, manuvering through thick brush, following what may or may not have been a deer trail, I would have missed a wonderful fungi. I still don't have a name for that one, but because I was sitting down, I saw the Indian Pipe plants.

If you have never seen them, you wouldn't believe such a thing exists! An all white plant, about 4 inches tall, growing in groups of 6-8. Their head hang down until they are fertilized, then they stand straight. They have no chlorophyll and rely on the plants around them for food. They do not connect directly with the other plants, but need mycorrhizal fungi to pass carbohydrates from other plants to them. This relationship is called mycotropism. If the plants are transplanted where the fungi are not available, they will not survive. I have only found one area of Camphill where these plants are growing. It was actually a mystery to me since spring, because I found the dried remains of them and didn't know what they were. Since there is no field guide out there that shows you the dried up remains of plants (hmm, perhaps I should...) I had to keep checking back in that area to see what was growing. Until I got home after seeing the Indian pipes, and looking them up, I finally realizes that it was what I had been looking for all along! 

Speaking of finding things that were there all along, I found an area that shall now be called Hogworts. Yes, I know that is not how the famous school spells it, but a wort is a flower...and you get it, right? Anyway, I was out in an area that I had been to many times, trying to locate a spot that I knew had to be right there. It wasn't. And I was sure that I had never been where I was. So just like the Hogwarts school, the terrain had shifted, and I wasn't where I thought I was. Confused yet? So was I. I finally figured out that between the east side of the pond and the west side of the pond, both of which I had explored, was actually another strip of land, making two ponds. Because the land was so similiar I didn't realize that there was two ponds. So I had the delight of unexplored territory to wander through. Now I must start the task of identifying the types of goldenrod. Two are blooming now with seven more possible types in Todd County. I will miss this in January. Unless I am still trying to identify things...

 Indian Pipe

Indian Pipe