Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Glennwood Nature Preserve, Kosciusko County

     What a beautiful day for a hike!  Hank, Evelynn, General Lee and I hit two nature preserves on the last day of our spring break.  Glennwood Nature Preserve was our final stop on this glorious, hiker-friendly day.  It is not a large preserve, but it proved interesting for my near-weary companions.  

Duckweed is eaten by humans in some parts of Southeast Asia.  It contains more protein than soybeans...yum!
     One of the first sights greeting us was this quaint little pond nearly covered with duckweed.  When I was very young our trips to town would take us past a pond similar to this, and my response was always, "eww, look at all the slime on that swamp!"  I couldn't have been more wrong.  Duckweed isn't slime at all, but rather tiny little individual plants, floating on or just below the water's surface.  Also called "water lentils," duckweed is an important high-protien food source for waterfowl, hence the name "Duck"weed.  

The Glennwood bog is unusual because it's PH is neutral.  Acidic peat bogs are much more prevalent. 
     Glennwood contains a circumneutral bog, one of only 15 in Indiana.  A circumneutral bog is a bog-like wetland that receives non-acidic groundwater.  This bog was once a lake, but it is now nearly filled with a springy mat of mosses and ferns, resting on a bed of peat.  The day we visited Glennwood, the ground was very wet, making our hike a bit tricky at times.
A pleasant view of the bog.  It won't always be this water-y, but no matter how dry the summer gets, bogs usually retain some amount of moisture.  

At this point, our hiking trail took us through the bog.  It was a bit too muddy...er, boggy?...for us to go much further in this direction.  But look at those trees in the distance...
If I didn't know better, I'd think it was autumn!  You never know when one of those pesky time-space continuum portals will pop up and transport you back a few months.   Actually, some trees have springtime buds that appear red, like Red Maple and Ash.  
Taking a little break.  Except General, who is always on the lookout for the next critter naive enough to cross his path!
     As we hike further and further into the springtime season, we are never disappointed with the prevalence of Indiana wildflowers.  It is nearly impossible to look in any direction and not see a myriad of these beauties...
Rue Anemone
Wooly Blue Violets
Garlic Mustard.  A highly invasive species of wildflower with few (if any) natural enemies.  Except perhaps humans. Garlic Mustard has been eaten in salads and other recipes since the 1800's.  If you can't beat it, eat it!!

"Nature made ferns for pure leaves, to show what she could do in that line."  ~Henry David Thoreau
     We can't wait to see where our next hiking journey takes us, and what new things we can learn about Indiana's natural splendor while we're there!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Katie - what stunning images! I can't wait to see how they translate to glass.