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Acres of sphagnum in my back woods

Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Connecticut
Though this happened months ago, I finally thought I'd post this since I think people might be interested.
Earlier this spring I was walking around in my back woods for pretty much the first time. In the two decades I've grown up on this property, I had never ventured into the rear of our 50 acres since it was nothing but forest land. I went back there to dump off a guinea fowl the dog had killed so the dogs wouldn't eat it, (the ground was still too frozen to bury it). After a couple dozen feet into the woods I saw a little patch of sphagnum. I was quite surprised, as I had never seen any on our property before. I decided to walk a bit farther into the woods, and after nearly an hour of exploring I had found masses of sphagnum growing all over. I snapped a bunch of pics of what I could find, but I barely ventured more than an acre or two into the wetlands. The wetland area extends many more acres into our woods, so there's probably a lot more out there. I might go explore more this winter after the ground freezes, since when I went back again in the summer I kept sinking into all the muddy areas.

I looked on some old land records for the property and I found a photocopy of a paper the previous owner had had. It was a written up plan for future use of the land, and in one section it stated that the 8 acres of forested area in the back should be logged and the wetlands drained to make new pasture land and crop fields. I'm happy the guy never got any of those plans done since it would have meant the loss of this lovely sphagnum land.

Here's some of the nicer pics I took. Most of the rocks were covered in in other species of moss, but some of them were completely coated in sphagnum. In other spots there were just large patches of sphagnum on the forest floor. There were probably a lot of spots I didn't even see due to the leaf litter on the ground. I found nice reddish brown sphagnum in a few areas and a couple other types as well. Unfortunately, i didn't see any CPs, but it was mid February so I wasn't really expecting to find any. I should probably go back next spring and see if I can find anything interesting. When I looked this summer, all I found was some nice flowers. There was a bunch of tiny violets all over and some marsh marigolds, and probably some others that I can't remember.

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Exo

Tastes like chicken!
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
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2,895
Location
Albion, NY
Wow, that's so awesome! surprised there aren't any CPs or at least bog orchids in there. :)
 

Nepenthesis

Formerly known as Pineapple
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,824
This is fantabulous! :drool:

We should do a trade sometime. May have some ventrata basals up for trade in a little bit, always looking for a new species of sphag. :awesome:
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
327
Location
Maryland
Wow, that's so awesome! surprised there aren't any CPs or at least bog orchids in there. :)

i bet he will find some dews in there somewhere. mabey going back to look for them spring might be a good idea.


if there arent any there, you should see what kinds of CPs are native to your area Bett. if you could aquire a local form of that species, and introduce it to that area, that would be great! (in my opinion anyways, i am aware of the fact that there are some on this forum who would disagree)
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Connecticut
I have some somewhat local Drosera seeds already, but I'm going to try to grow those in pots first and plant them outside if I can get them to grow. D. filliformis used to be native around here, but as far as I know it has gone extinct. If I can get my seeds to sprout then I might be starting a new population in the area. I did have a huge mass of S. purpurea seeds from nearby that someone sent me, but I didn't know about all this sphagnum when I got the seeds. I ended up planting those in other wetland areas on the property and in a wet meadow.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Messages
327
Location
Maryland
I have some somewhat local Drosera seeds already, but I'm going to try to grow those in pots first and plant them outside if I can get them to grow. D. filliformis used to be native around here, but as far as I know it has gone extinct. If I can get my seeds to sprout then I might be starting a new population in the area. I did have a huge mass of S. purpurea seeds from nearby that someone sent me, but I didn't know about all this sphagnum when I got the seeds. I ended up planting those in other wetland areas on the property and in a wet meadow.

Thats great! :-Ohave you seen any sarr seedlings in the places where you planted them?

you could get the dews established in pots, then transplant them into and around the clumps of sphag. that should get a population going!
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Connecticut
I haven't been able to look in the main area I planted them. The marshy meadow gets really thick with grasses so I couldn't really find anything in the thicket. I spread them over a wide area though, near the stream bank, in a swampy area, and in some drier parts, so hopefully something came up. There's a few spots I should check in though before snow covers the ground.
 

Nepenthesis

Formerly known as Pineapple
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,824
I haven't been able to look in the main area I planted them. The marshy meadow gets really thick with grasses so I couldn't really find anything in the thicket. I spread them over a wide area though, near the stream bank, in a swampy area, and in some drier parts, so hopefully something came up. There's a few spots I should check in though before snow covers the ground.

Would you ever consider trading some sphag for CPs?
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Connecticut
I'd be happy to trade. There's so much of it growing in the woods that a little bit of pruning wouldn't put a dent in the population.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Connecticut
As long as it doesn't get plowed up and filled in, it should be safe for a long time. I think the property on the other side of the property line is all wetlands as well, so there shouldn't be anyone building houses around either anytime soon.
 

Nepenthesis

Formerly known as Pineapple
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,824
I'd be happy to trade. There's so much of it growing in the woods that a little bit of pruning wouldn't put a dent in the population.

I'll take you up on that when I have stuff to trade! :)
 

Wire Man

Sphagnum Guru
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
2,990
Location
Virginia, USA
What county do you live in? I can find what species of Sphagnum are typically found within a 10 mile radius.
 
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