Old Blog Photos, Series 1

This morning I was looking through a collection of photos which appeared on this blog several years ago. They would have disappeared into digital oblivion had Joan Ryan not saved them, as my hard drive failed and I had no backups. These photos were shot in the Hannibal area around 2006-2007.

The first two are of one of my favorite species of primitive fern, the Rattlesnake Fern (one or another species of Botrychium, probably virginiana). This fern has triangular fronds radiating from a central stalk. At the top of the stalk clusters of sporangia unfurl gracefully, resembling clusters of grapes. Another common name for the plant is the Grape Fern.

An overall view:

I like this photo, a close-up of the clusters of spherical sporangia. The sunlight was just right:

Another photo I’m fond of is this one of an oak leaf snatched from the air as it fell. The culprit? An unusually quick-moving shagbark hickory tree. I can imagine the hickory flicking out one of its bark flakes and seizing the hapless dead leaf, which would have rather been free to moulder in peace with its kin. Those hickories can be mischievous when humans aren’t around.




Filed under Natural History, Photos, Plants

7 responses to “Old Blog Photos, Series 1

  1. Karen

    Thanks for sharing these pictures. I especially enjoyed your comments about the leaf! 🙂

  2. bev

    I have always loved Shagbark Hickory. We used to hike in a place where there were several very large individuals. Along the trail, there was a spot where one had fallen down a steep hillside.. The bark had somehow come away from the tree and sat heaped like a massive set of armor, several plates lying slanted one atop the next. We marvelled at the sight for several years. It is a favourite memory of hikes made with my husband.

  3. Thanks, Karen!

    Bev, I like your comparison of the bark to plates of armor. That hickory bark takes years to rot if it isn’t in contact with the ground.

    I’ve never seen this, but I’ve read that bats often take shelter and sleep under the “shags” during the day.

  4. Larry, I have a photo or so from the old blog. Can I paste and send?

  5. Sure, Darrell. Send ’em on.

  6. Joan

    I’ve seen leaves that were hanging
    By merely a thread
    And others heaped up on the ground.
    If I searched for a photo from alpha to zed
    I doubt one like this could be found.

    I’ve seen trees shedding leaves
    And then growing them back.
    I’ve seen photos of trees from the best.
    But I never in all of my dealings with these
    Saw a tree clasp a leaf to its breast.

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