The next day we met up with Kevin who drove us to his favorite places in Wood and Ritchie county. We, or I should really say they botanized along the way. I mostly took photos and listened in awe at their extensive knowledge of plants. I am particularly interested in ferns so I was delighted when we stopped along the road to identify this Silvery Antherium.
Here is the underside.
Jane spotted this Sparassis (also known as cauliflower mushroom) from the car.
There were two of them and they really were the size of a cauliflower.
For me this plant was the coolest of the day.
It is a Climbing Fern (Lygodium palmatum)
and from what they said, in WV, it is only found in a few places.
The majority of the leaves are infertile and look like the palm of a hand.
The stems are very thin and tough.
Here are the fertile fronds.
We drove along the Little Kanawha River stopping to identify this
Long Beaked Arrowhead (Sagittaria australis).
Along the way Kevin told us about the geology and natural history of the area. Jane grew up near by and told an interesting story about a town and how they made Mountain out of Mole Hill, WV. In July of 1949 representatives of the Borden Milk Company approached the people at Mole Hill with a plan to help them get a paved road to their community if they would be a part of a publicity stunt. At the time Route 47 was described as a "narrow snake path" except for the short concrete section just outside of Pennsboro. They had the understanding that if they went along with the stunt and changed their name to Mountain as part of the Borden County Fair events, the governor and other politicians would come a they would soon get a new road. Well like a lot of promises from industry and the government this one was not kept, yet the people at Mole Hill are now stuck with the name Mountain and to make matters worse there isn't even a mountain near by. According to some, the locals still call it Mole Hill and there isn't even a post office there any more. They did get the road...ten years later but that had nothing to do with the name change. I guess when they say, "don't make a mountain out of a mole hill" it is good advice to follow.
Back at Kevin's I found this Tan Crab Spider (Xysticus transversatus) muching on an ant and
a Ray Spider (Theridiosoma gemmosum) egg case.
For more adventures in the ourdoors visit Outdoor Wednesdays.