sna poems #122: oakfield railroad prairie

first intimate stop of the day. a former railroad, this sna is 10 acres in a straight line. lined with shrubs and trees, but still a surprisingly diverse prairie flora all along the way.

i’m grateful folks have activated these old rail lines so we can get to meet plants we might not elsewhere in human-shaped habitats. beautiful start to the day.

first id’s of four o’clock, meadowsweet, giant ragweed, wild cucumber, and tick-trefoil.

a.

straight-line habitat

all decked out:

white, purple, yellow

b.

where boxcars once hauled,

st. john’s wort

nestles in the grass

c.

little downy one,

now it’s just

you and four o’clocks

if you made it this far… caterpillars on toadflax! (plus a couple more plants)

sna poems #121: mullet creek white cedar wetland

this sna is a wet-mesic forest and wetland complex in a larger wildlife area, dominated by white cedar and surrounded by farmland. the wetland areas have indicator species for calcium-rich water.

it’s the end of summer, so plant growth is at its peak. this, combined with the navigability of the saturated soils, the lack of paths, and the disturbing sound of what we can only assume was a hog-slaughtering occurring on a farm in an adjacent valley, precluded us from getting deep into the forest. but on a stretch of road away from that valley i was able to get in a bit and nose around, to the less bone-chilling sound of sandhill cranes in the fields across the street.

a less immersive and interactive stop than those later in the day.

the shrieking of pigs

and swamp mud

stop us in our tracks