One big thing to note from this trip is that we are visiting areas that have more limestone in their soil so that we can compare to the kind of plants there are not covered in limestone. To give a better picture limestone is located in the western area of Ohio has it and to the East there isn’t limestone. The east is made up of sandstone and shale, and the west is made up of limestone. The east is generally flatter and the east is less so having more hills. Originally before the glacier recreated Ohio the rocks were made up of sandstone on top and shale under it and under that was limestone. Once the glacier started moving across Ohio it created an arc in Ohio having the peak of it in the northeast corner. A river ran along the arc and then down the middle and it was called the Teays River, it is important because before the glacier stopped it’s flow it brought seeds from plants down and they would settle along the shore and they are still there today. The river was running for about 2 million years. We are able to see that there is a definite boundary where the glaciers went and flattened the land and where it left the east part of Ohio alone, this is due to the sandstone hills were able to keep the glaciers on the west side. Below is a drawing of the glacial boundary.
Lime Substrate Plants
This shrub was found right off of the trail and when the leaf was scratched it gave off a good scent.
The scientific name for this tree is very accurate because one key characteristic of it is that the stem is shaped as a square. Although the common name is a little confusing since it is called BLUE Ash although I think most of the common names for ash trees are confusing because they are all colors.
You are able to tell that this is a red oak because at the end of the lobes it looks like they come to a point at the end. I’m able to remember that if something sharp were to stab you then you might bleed making it red. This tree was found at Batelle Darby Metro Park.
This oak tree was surprisingly found not at Cedar Bog but rather at Batelle Darby Metro Park on the outskirts of a Prarie. This would explain why I couldn’t get a closer picture because I have cats and I don’t think they would appreciate new tick buddies. Although we were able to see a couple of the leaves that were turned over to see where the tree got its name. On the underside of the leaves they look ghostly white which is where it gets the bicolor part of it’s name because the leaves are made up of two colors.
This tree was found at Batelle Darby Metro Park near some picnic tables. This tree gets it’s name from the fruit that it produces which look like the well known hops that give more flavor to beer.
Sandstone Hill Plants
I have not yet visited this area so I do not quite have pictures yet. The plants in this area are growing in acidic soil compared to the plants earlier that are growing in basic soil.
- Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana)
- Sourwood (Oxydendrum aboreum)
- Scrub Pine (Pinus virginiana)
- Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)
- Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
- Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum)
Sweet Buckeye vs. Hemlock
A good way to understand how different plants grow in different soils is to focus on just two trees. Sweet buckeye tree predominantly grow in the eastern area of Ohio where the soil is mostly made up of sandstone and is more acidic. Although there is speculation that part of the reason that it stays in that area is because it can’t spread it’s seeds very far. For hemlock it grows all throughout the east of Ohio but it is able to reach the North that the glacier did go over because hemlock requires the environment to be moist and doesn’t solely rely on the acidic soil like Sweet Buckeye does.
Above is a picture of Cedar Bog on the boardwalk before you go into the thick of the foresty part. Here we are able to see many shorter plants that are made up of mostly wild flowers, in the back you can see the forest looking part of the bog that houses the cedars that give the bog it’s name. The unique thing about the bog is for one it is not actually a bog it is a fen. A fen maintains the water by rain water coming down into the soil and then is pushed up by an aquafer that is located below the fen. Another interesting fact is that it was stated that the temperature in the fen maintains a temperature of 55 degrees.
Two Distinguishable Plant Families
For this trip I was asked to find two distinguishable plant families, this meaning two kinds of plants that showed up in abundance at the sites that we visited.
This grass was at the first place we visited which was a prairie at Battelle Darby Metro Park and it was everywhere there. In this photo you can see the grass in question trying to reach up and touch the sun. You are also able to see that at the ends of the grass that looks like turkey feet which is where it gets its name. The plant used to be way more abundant but it received a new nickname, ice cream for cows, because the cows like it a lot (Wildflower center).
This beautiful flower was EVERYWHERE at Cedar Bog, when you’re walking along the boardwalk you can see it all around you. It got it’s name most likely from the pods holding the seeds because when you touch them they spring open flinging the seeds all over the place. Another way you know that a plant is a touch me not is by the small pretty orange flowers that look like pea flowers because they are part of the same family. The leaves of the plant were used as a treatment for measles (Adirondacks Forever Wild).