Today, I wandered along the boardwalks at Holt Pond Preserve in South Bridgton with Adam Perron, education director of Lakes Environmental Association, and Amy Kireta, a PhD student from UMaine. Amy plans to help Adam develop climate change curriculum for LEA. Exciting stuff.
We chatted as we walked, but frequently stopped to look and listen. Check out our finds.
Blue Flag Iris is beardless (no hairs on its petals), unlike the irises that grow in my garden.
The Sheep Laurel beginning to bloom. This is an interesting and beautiful plant, with its flowers blooming below the new leaves. I love how the leaves droop.
Another new bloom–the ball-shaped flower of Spatterdock.
Though our eyes were immediately drawn to the leaves of Fragrant Water Lilies with their pie-shaped notch, we could see a submerged blatterwort–one of the carnivorous plants of the preserve. They feature small blatters that act as vacuums and suck up tiny aquatic animals in order to take advantage of their nutrients.
Speaking of carnivorous plants . . . the Pitcher Plants are flowering.
The colors are enough to suck me in.
While the Pitcher Plants make themselves known in any season, another carnivorous plant barely announces its presence on the quaking bog.
The Round-leaf Sundew. Preferring the acidity of the spaghnum moss, the hairlike tentacles on each leaf are tipped with glistening droplets that shout a welcome message to passing insects. Those droplets are actually quite sticky and when the tendrils of hair detect that a prey has stopped by, they curl inward and wrap around the insect–then digest its nutrients.
There aren’t many nutrients in a spaghnum bog, so these plants have figured out how to meet their own needs–another reason to be in awe.
It’s stuff like this that makes me think J.R.R. Tolkien could have found inspiration right here.
Though we didn’t stray off the beaten path today, that is one of my favorite things to do. But I’m glad we backtracked rather than taking Amy back to the parking area via a different route because . . . we encountered another hiker who stopped to ask us some questions. As she talked, some things she said made me wonder if she was someone who recently commented on one of my blog posts. A friend in Connecticut has said since high school that I can be blunt (that’s you, C.W.N.) and I probably was today when I blurted out this woman’s name. I’m so glad I did. I was right–it was her. And I hope we can make a connection to wander together some time because it sounds like we have walked in each other’s tracks more than once.
I knew your car when I saw this, E.
Years ago, I paraphrased it. Wander and wonder. You never know what or who you might stumble upon.