Sunday, June 17, 2012

On the Bombing Range

I went on a plant geek field trip yesterday and as is my want I took some pictures.

We went onto the Warren Grove Bombing Range in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Our host was Dr. Walter Bien of Drexel University (one of my alma maters) who is the principle investigator for the Office of Pinelands Research.

On this trip we were able to go onto the military base, a portion of the Pine Barrens I had not previously visited. And one most people don't get to see. The best place was a very large bog, much larger than any other I have visited, that was covered with bog asphodel and golden crest. Alas, there was just enough of a breeze to ruin most of my flower images. But I did get a few.

One of my favorite Pine Barrens plants is Drosera filiformis, the thread-leaved sundew, and its lovely purple flower.

We also saw the flower of Sarracenia purpurea, the pitcher plant, another of the carnivorous plants of the Pine Barrens. (We saw several species of bladderworts, another group of carnivores, but I was unable to get any good images of these.)

Also on display were a number of species of lichens, including the three in this shot: british soldier, reindeer, and tar lichens.

Our botanizing was sidetracked for a variety of critters including this six-spotted fishing spider (thanks to John Maxwell for the ID).

This deer fly (what fantastic eyes).

And what was easily the star of the day for me, Pine Barrens tree frogs. We saw at least a half dozen of these baby frogs. I've heard the "quonk, quonk, quonk, of these frogs on many a warm evening, but I had never seen one.

They are tiny!

It was another fun day in the Pine Barrens. Thank you to Dr. Bien for leading a great trip.