What a Place, NJ Pine Barrens Barry Caselli
June 19, 2009

I didn't want the subject line to be too cryptic. Anyway, what a place this is. It's incredible.
Friday is my early day at work. I was done about 10:15. It was supposed to be 9:30 actually. So I drove over to a roadside bog that's near here, to see if the Rose Pogonia orchids are blooming yet. I got out of my truck and put on some bug spray and then walked over to the bog. I found quite a few Rose Pogonias in bloom. The cranberries are in bloom right now too. Also Swamp Azalea, AKA Clammy Azalia. So I was taking pictures of the Spatulate-leaf Sundews and the Rose Pogonias there. I walked back to my truck and was taking pictures of some Swamp Azalia when I heard a sound behind me which I knew was the sound of the wing-beats of a hummingbird! I turned around and sure enough there was a hummingbird feeding off a Swamp Azalia flower (they are all white, by the way). He chirped a little and then flew off.
I then headed up to Wharton State Forest, to go to Martha Furnace. I wanted to go to a bog in that area to see the orchids and other cool things. Along County Route 679, before I even got to Harrisville (yet another ghost town), I stopped along the roadside to photograph Pine Barrens Sandwort that was in bloom. What I found was the sandwort growing with Prickly Pear Cactus, Reindeer Lichen and Pine Barrens Heather. The heather is done blooming by now, but the cactus has flower buds, and the sandwort is almost in full bloom. I then went up to the bog I wanted to go to and found lots of stuff in bloom. There were Grass Pink orchids and Rose Pogonia orchids in great abundance, along with New Jersey Bog Asphodel, which is actually quite rare. I immediately walked back to my truck and sat on the tailgate to eat my lunch. Then I put on my boots to go out to the bog and take pictures. The Pitcher Plants are done blooming. But their leaves are fascinating. The
 Sundews are not yet in bloom, but of course they are also fascinating. There are tons of Thread-leaf and Round-leaf Sundews there. I also found some kind of yellow-flowering bladderworts. I'm not sure of the species without looking it up. I got lots of pictures of all the good stuff there. While I was there I heard the very rare Pine Barrens Treefrogs calling, several times. Also while there I saw a couple of Southern Leopard Frogs. After taking all my pictures I then left there and drove a little further up Old Martha Road to a place where there's the ruins of an old pumping station for cranberry bogs. There you can walk down to the banks of the river. So I walked down there, still with my boots on, and found more Rose Pogonias in bloom, along with lots of Round-leaf and Thread-leaf Sundews.
After this I went to New Gretna to buy gas. This involved a long ride over some woods roads, one still partially paved. Along that road, guess what I found that doesn't belong here? I found Shagbark Hickory! In fact there were several, and one was of a decent size. I'll send the pictures later.
Then about an hour ago I walked out on the back deck to pet the cat and I could hear Northern Gray Treefrogs calling. (Back when we still had the pool that was half-full of water, with the cover still on it, the Northern Gray Treefrogs were living in it!) Then over by the kitchen windows I could hear a Chuck-Will's-Widow calling somewhere in the woods.
So I say again, what a place this is, where I live! Amazing. I think I'm going to post this on my Yahoo group too.



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also:  http://groups.google.com/group/entstrees/browse_thread/thread/03984b474e5d602b?hl=en