Inventory at Plainfield Sanctuary
PCVs and Conservation Staff inventory flora at Plainfield Sanctuary, Plainfield, NH
The Pleasures of Plainfield
by John Burns
It's just a beautiful time of year to get out in the woods and the PCVs continue to do that each day. This week, several joined the Conservation Staff at the Plainfield Sanctuary in Plainfield, NH for the last of three days of inventory. This is the first time a complete flora of the sanctuary has been compiled and we continue to find some nuggets.
With a long list of plants already found, the group ascended the steep hillside. Ski poles in hand to spurn us along, we went up, already having seen most of the plants. But one tiny little quivering plant catches our eye. It's autumn coral root, Corallorhiza odontorhiza, and there are several patches along the way. Once we counted past 20 we just avoided the area completely so as not to damage dormant roots.
Brilliantly colored mushrooms reminded us that there are other treasures to be found. I even invited some for dinner that night. The whole group was befuddled by a couple of asters, even after Arieh Tal's workshop and descended the hill to find the state-listed Virginia beggar's lice, Hackelia deflexa.
On the way to the truck, we reviewed the rich hillside of spring ephemerals, now faded and ready for winter, knowing that we'd be back in the spring to pull the garlic mustard. I know why we really come back.