Saturday, August 5, 2017

ONAPA WV Field Trip: Part 2, Cranberry Glades

Joan and I left our motel in Elkins, WV, early June 29th to drive down to the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center and the second day of the ONAPA (Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves) West Virginia field trip. It's about a two hour drive depending on the frequency of slow trucks on mountain roads, and we encountered only a few short slowdowns.

At the nature center we first investigated a nature trail loop, and then drive down to the Cranberry Glades. We reveled in the nature trail, stopping frequently to admire or attempt to identify a plant, and individuals would shuttle back and forth between the clumps of people around each naturalist, especially with each exclamation of a new discovery. My only photo is of this round-leaf orchid. This is the with-flash version, which came out best.
Then it was a short drive to the Cranberry Glades.
There was a pause as we all parked and gathered and waited for a large group to exit the boardwalk. In the meantime, on the other side of the parking lot, Dave Keener discovered
 some mountain woodsorrel, oxalis montana.
Once on the boardwalk we trod slowly, trying to not overlook anything.
Here is a cluster of purple pitcher plants (although I prefer the alternate moniker of turtle socks). These plants are not native, but are thriving here. Click on the image to enlarge.
The rose pogonia, or snakemouth orchid, loves this environment.
The grass pink orchid is showy, and unusual in that the lip is on the top of the flower, not the bottom.
There is both a pogonia and a grass pink in this photo.
After completing the boardwalk we scooted over to an opening where the naturalists, in their earlier reconnaissance, had located a tubercled rein orchid and one other orchid. Unfortunately my pictures didn't turn out. Here the last of our group is returning from that hunt.
Then it was time to return to the Nature Center for lunch, and reorganizing into a single line of vehicles for some roadside botanizing.