This year we have already had 2 field trips, one at Bruce Semans’ Cabin and the other at Veara Woods. Both field trips were well attended. Another field trip is being planned for the Route 66 Prairie outside of Litchfield.
Chris Benda led the field trip on April 18 at Bruce Semans’ Cabin along the South Fork of the Sangamon River. This was one of the most educational field trips I have been on. Chris identified the plants, and in many cases explained how to identify the species, noted how to differentiate the plant from similar looking ones, and provided additional information such as unique seed features and method of seed distribution. In the photo below:
1.Orange Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) seedling
2. Southern Fragile Fern (Cystopteris protrusa)
3. Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) in bloom
4. Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)
5. White Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum)
6. Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
7. Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum recurvatum)
The field trip to Veara Woods was also along the South Fork of the Sangamon River, but the terrain was steeper and included a section of prairie. This trip had to be moved from Saturday, April 24 to Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 pm. With the date change, it ended up being a combination trip between INPS and Springfield Audubon. Therefore, Kevin not only identified the plants, but also the birds encountered. The bird identification definitely added an additional dimension to this trip.
Henry Eilers will lead the Route 66 Prairie trip tentatively scheduled for May 15. The site is a 10 acre Southern Illinois Tillplain prairie that is a mosaic of remnant prairie and ongoing restoration. Species diversity is very high ranging from mosses to orchids. During 3 days in the summer of 2017, Henry Eilers identified 297 species of plants at the prairie. This site has been designated a pollinator waystation on the Illinois Monarch Trail. More information will be forthcoming about this trip.