Great Swamp Botanizing Walk – Revisit August 2022
RIWPS Great Swamp Field Trip 16 August 2022 Beth Dickson Seventeen plant enthusiasts joined Anne Wagner and Kathy Barton to explore the Great Swamp on August 20, 2022, following the same path taken earlier in the spring (see earlier blog). The trail led us through a variety of habitats: dry shrubs and grasses, wet meadows, wetlands, and an oak/pine/maple forest. The effects of this year’s drought on the vegetation were certainly apparent, especially in the wetlands where waterlilies and tussocks of wool grass were surrounded by dried patches of mud instead of open water. Despite the drought, summer flowers were abundant including several species of goldenrod, boneset, and joe-pye weed.
In addition to identifying species, Kathy and Anne shared their knowledge of natural history and told entertaining folk stories about the flora seen along the way. They drew our attention to the smells of certain plants, like the orange odor of orange grass leaves (Hypericum gentianoides), the honeysuckle smelling flowers of sweet-pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), the vanilla-scented flowers of milkweed (Asclepias spp.). Their passion of native plants was infectious making the walk stimulating for both beginning and advanced plant observers. And as always, it was a pleasure to meet with new and old friends together enjoying the natural diversity of the Great Swamp.
Final Plant List Co-leaders below: Anne B. Wagner & Kathy Barton