An early start this morning saw us destined for St. Leonard and areas around the Salmon River as guests of the New Brunswick Botany Club. The purpose of today's trip was to study the amazing variation among grape ferns with assistance from Dr. Jim Goltz and Charles Neveu, resident botanist with J.D. Irving Ltd. (who also kindly provided a van to transport us around their freehold land). Of particular interest was the legendary moonwort (Botrychium lunaria), a species first confirmed for New Brunswick in 2004 by Charles Neveu.
Moonworts are fascinating little plants, only occasionally emerging above ground and forming associations with mycorrhizal fungi as a means to obtain nutrients. They tend to be found on disturbed sites, either natural (e.g., dunes) or man-made (e.g., forest plantations, graveyards).
Dr. Jim Goltz: Moonwort habitat [0:59]
Some photos from the trip are shown below. Many are less than stellar as my wee camera finds macros a struggle!
The Daisy-Leaf Grape Fern (Botrychium matricariifolium).
Small Grape Fern (Botrychium simplex).
Moonwort (Botrychium lunaria).
Rattlesnake Fern (Botrychium virginianum): Commonly found in rich hardwood stands.
Other vascular plants:
Like the moonworts, orchids also form associations with soil fungi.
Naked Mitrewort (Mitella nuda).
Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum).
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana).
A surprise! This photo, taken at a distance from the window of the van, shows a clump of Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium sp.) orchids.
A couple of interesting items for the zoologist:
A coyote (Canis latrans) scat showing evidence of a previous meal: vertebrae and other bones from a mouse.
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor).