Thursday, June 26, 2008

UW-Madison Arboretum

This morning I led a fern walk for guides at the UW-Madison Arboretum, a fantastic place located in the heart of Madison and close to the campus. It is a collection of managed forest, wetland, and grassland community types, and one of my favorite places in the city. We had a fun time walking and looking for ferns, despite the hordes of mosquitos that descend as soon as you set foot in the woods. We found, among other things, a thriving patch of the fern pictured above, Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive Fern), although its fertile fronds (right photo) weren't out yet in the Arb. Other ferns encountered included Dryopteris goldiana and D. intermedia (Goldie's and Intermediate Ferns), Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern), and lots of Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern) and Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern). Things are very lush at this time of year, and most of the ferns we saw were very happy! I hope to do more walks like this in the future.

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