Sunday, April 11, 2010

My favorite marsh in early spring

My favorite marsh is not a typical wetland. It's a riparian forest seep with open emergent marsh, and more. It's my favorite because its geomorphology is unique and because it's close to home.

Marsh marigolds in full glory.

A spring marsh is a beautiful place.

Cowslip is an alternative name given to marsh marigolds among farmers raising stock. Seeps often were 'improved' to collect water for thirsty cows and horses. These showy wildflowers grow best in mucky slippery seeps.

The best known Midwestern wildflower, common blue violets.

Common blue violet up close.

A carpet of spring beauty flowers the flank of the marsh.

Skunk cabbage plants unfurling giant leaves form a belt along the base of seeping glacial deposits. Marsh marigolds, emergent sparganium marsh, and swamp rose tier the background.

Sessile trillium, I prefer the name toadshade

Ramps, a native wild onion and popular spring fare among rural Appalachians and others endowed with adventurous palates and tolerant spouses.

Boxelder in bloom--trees do it, too.

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