Wildflower/Tree Exploration

Jake Flanagan describes how to identify a species of tree.

The church’s Eco Team’s planned May 21 Wildflower/Nature Walk took an unexpected twist when our scheduled master naturalist was unable to attend because of a scheduling conflict. Instead, a man who had come to participate took over as the leader and led a marvelous, unscriped walk through Robinson Woods with members of the congregation and community. He was Master Naturalist Jake Flagahan, who has a background in forestry.

Spruce branch

Jim led a slow-paced, open-minded exploration of the wooded property behind the church with insightful observations about trees, wildflowers, and vegetation. The success of the walk was also the vibrant interaction between the participants with Jim and with each other. It opened numerous conversations about the unique qualities of the woods with discussions about such things as sarsaparilla, jack in the pulpit, dogtooth violets, wild geranium, blue bell lilies, hobblebush, wood anemones, and gay wings.

Jack in the pulpit
Trout lily/Dog tooth violet
Blue bead lily
Fairy slipper
Canada mayflower

There also were learning experiences about the transpiration of water molecules in balsam, the taste of balsam needles, and how to identify trees through bark patterns and how limbs are positioned.

Sampling a balsam needle

Thank you to Jack and all participants for sharing their expertise and making a spring walk through Robinson Woods such an eye-opening experience!

This was the Eco Team’s eighth Nature Walk since the Fall of 2021 with master naturalists, college professors, environmentalists, and members of the Cape Land Trust. More are still being considered.

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