Ground Cedar and just how special this plant is

Ground cedar

Ground cedar

I have always known that ground cedar (Lycopodium complanatum) club moss family,  was special, but I didn’t know why. Today, I read a post by Dr. Thomas Barnes, University of Kentucky at http://kentuckynativeplantandwildlife.blogspot.com/2012/01/plant-of-week-southern-club-moss.html.

You may enjoy reading the full article at noted link. I can’t get enough of this kind of learning. Every day is wondrous when we learn something new about Creation.

There is a small colony of ground cedar growing in the forest near spring fed snow runoff sites in the hills, at Winter Hill Farm, near Fitchburg, MA. There are large glacial bounders here. For one thing, I learned that it takes 10 – 15 years before the ground plant actually shows itself. First the plant must develop under the ground with a symbiotic relationship with fungi mycelium. The plant also requires a certain soil component, being a lack of nutrients in the soil, and the plant usually requires large boulders, in the near vicinity. Boulders are here because glaciers come through and large tumbling boulders were left behind in the hills. This is one of the beauties of the forest near Fitchburg. My sister lives here on 40 acres, in a protected watershed area, with her husband. The children are all grown now, but Winter Hill Farm is their retreat on weekends and holidays. I am here and will be living nearby come fall. I didn’t dream when I came here, July 11, for a family wedding, that I would be moving back to the East Coast. Pinch me!

I have been given the opportunity to come full circle. Now I can walk into my field work here and continue writing, publishing and observing nature in this environment. Yesterday, my sister gave me a rock that was engraved by an elder artist, who is now deceased. A butterfly was carved into the rock. Ronnie carried the rock up to the Wild Butterfly Habitat and placed the medium size rock on the stone fence at the entrance of the habitat.

Eco Adventure in Wisconsin – day six

It’s Wednesday.

Wednesday is chore day.  I went outside only to nearly miss the garbage truck.  Luckily the driver saw me.  I dashed to the shed to get the garbage out for him.  We have to lock garbage up here because creatures from the woods would make a mess of it.

The fellow was friendly.  He asked, “Are you having a good time?”  I said, “I’m having a time of my life snowshoeing and I am so happy.”

Country road

A near miss and a friendly hello.

  The driver responded, “You make me feel like I should be out here doing the same thing.”  We talked about the forest and how it reminded us both of Upper New York State.  He told me, “I drove a truck till 1996.  That is the last time I saw Vermont and Upper New York State.”  I mentioned that I hadn’t been back since 1985. 

I explained that I came out here to be away from crowds and how that part of the country had grown dramatically.  I mentioned that out here, I could raise my own food and the heck with it.  He said, “I know and feel much like you do.”  Then we went our separate ways.

This is the land of self survival and there are more people who have a Pd H degree here and love this country simply because they want to live free.  New Hampshire has a motto “Live free or die.”  That’s how many of us feel in the Great North Woods.  We are self-sufficient and depend on ourselves. 

The wind is howling and it is a bitter cold today.  I did not snowshoe.  Instead I am studying a book MycoMedicinals by Paul Stamets.  Sandy Stein and I met him in 2008 at the Tesuque Pueblo Food Sovereignty Conference in New Mexico where Happy Tonics was invited to exhibit.  He was the keynote speaker.

This is when I seriously started to dive into learning about mushrooms.  I have always been fascinated by them and did an independent study in learning to identifying mushrooms and finding out which ones are edible.  Not having a teacher, I never did learn to properly identify them and knowing how dangerous they can be, I will wait till I have a teacher.

Lichen on oak tree

Lichen on oak tree.

I did notice tree and rock lichen and took some photographs.  Here is a good web reference that will educate about the role of lichen and air at http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/p429lichens.html

This is one of the things I noticed most out in these woods was the fresh air and I think the lichen may have a role in how pure the oxygen is here on this land. 

In the meantime, I order my mushrooms from Paul Stamets Company Fungi Perfectis because he is world-renowned for his knowledge about MycoMedicinals and mycelium.  I even coated some vegetable seed with mycelium last summer because it is reported to make roots stronger.  This summer I plan to scatter mushroom spawn in my straw laden garden.

I now want to grow mushrooms.  Here’s is Paul Stamets You Tube video on how 6 Mushrooms Can Save the World at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY    

This discovery and research is very important.  So few of us understand the mycelium connection in its relationship to the earth and compared to the computer Internet.  We are hi tech now and perhaps because we are we are now able to grasp the importance of mycelium to save the world.

Be happy readers where ever you are.

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