Sidney Butler Smith Woodland is a Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests tract in Tuftonboro NH. I’d never been there, but Keith had visited it during hunting season a few times, and knew of a swampy area that deserved a good search.
So search we did!
There were areas that were still completely frozen, but also lots of open water. This is a large maple-black ash-hemlock wetland with lots of possibilities! In a place like this, we’d expect ferns…we’d expect moss…we’d expect wildflowers…we’d expect orchids!
Ferns first! Dryopteris intermedia, or the evergreen wood fern, is a common sight in our woods. It’s a ‘lacy’ fern, meaning it’s twice dissected and it is, as the name implies, evergreen.
On the backside of Dryopteris intermedia fertile fronds you can see the centered (“intermedia!”) sporangia. We have a fantastic new Fern field guide – Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America – and it’s a keeper! A Peterson guide, similar to my favorite moth guide book, it’s a guidebook that challenges us backyard naturalists! You will use the glossary in the back and learn new botany terms while looking through this book.
That is a good thing!
The moss! Well, we saw lots of moss including probably half a dozen species of sphagnum. This one stuck out, though, and we think that it’s Sphagnum cuspidatum or toothed sphagnum.
Stellaria media, common starwort or common stitchwort. This was a new one for us. I spotted it as I stopped to check out some moss on a boulder. It’s quite small as you can tell, and apparently quite invasive! Go botany actually states it is “nearly impossible to eradicate” as it’s seeds can lay dormant for half a century. Ick.
Aaaaaand the orchids! Keith remembered seeing some Corallorhiza trifida here before, and we found proof in some of last year’s seed pods. Corallorhiza trifida, or early coral root, while ranked in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is not yet ranked in New Hampshire. However, it is on the watch list here in NH and may be in other states as well, so be sure to report it if you see it!
Wait, I didn’t mention the bus? This was not actually at Sidney Butler Smith Woodland, but we randomly saw it later in the day and I could not help but mention it! One never knows what they will see in the woods! We could read “Plymouth and Lincoln” on the side…if anyone has any information on where or when this could be from, we’d love to hear it!