On the forest floor

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After a mile or two of a hike that began in tall grassland and meadows we suddenly entered a stretch of trail that wound it’s way through a luxuriant forest filled with treasures of all kind. From beautiful Woodland Pinedrops to what seemed an unending variety of ground covers, the landscape was transformed. From dry to wet, from brown to green, you never know what you’ll find on the forest floor.

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Unusual fungi and tiny white bells.

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Life took many forms and all play a part in the ecosystem of the forest floor.

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Wishing you a wonderful week and perhaps some time to explore.

Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromedea

Earlier this summer we ran across a peculiar plant making its way up through the earth in the forest. A strange striped asparagus? No Woodland Pinedrops: Pterospora andromeda.

According to Wikipedia “Like all members of the Monotriopoidiae , Pterospora andromedea lacks chlorophyll (trace amounts have been identified, but not enough to provide energy for the plant or to color it. Plants exist for most of their life as a mass of brittle, but fleshy, roots. They live in a parasitic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, in which plants derive all their carbon from their associated fungus, but the relationship is not yet well understood.”

This makes it similar to several of the orchids we have encountered along the trail.

Now that summer has passed and fall is in the air the plant looks like this.

Somewhat like a small tree full of small pumpkins decorating the autumn forest.