Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fabulous Fens

Nodding wild onion, Allium cernuum blooming at Prairie Rd. Fen

Thanks to the organizers of the Midwest Native Plant Conference for a fen-tastic weekend! Over 120 native plant enthusiasts gathered to learn more about the bountiful beauty we have in Ohio and wetland species were a highlight. We had a great time discussing the Soggy Bottom Boys, those wetland plants that can be used in your home landscape. It is amazing how adaptable some of these plants are to dry situations as well.
A grand finale of the weekend was our group's field trip to Cedar Bog. Now remember, Cedar Bog is not a bog, but rather a fen. Bogs "clog" (think of kettle -hole bogs- no water movement) while fens flow. Fens are know for cold underground seeps and alkaline conditions. Cedar Bog has some amazing marl flats- a rare habitat for rare plants and unusual creatures.
This federally listed Elfin Skimmer dragonfly is one of the rare creatures. Our group was lucky enough to have the fleet-footed Jim McCormac along to snag this prize specimen. Perhaps my 6th trip to the bog, this was the first time I was ever fortunate enough to see the extremely small and delicate male Elfin Skimmer. His blue coloration is a perfect match with my lucky blue Ohio Dragonfly Conference shirt from 2007!
It was wonderful to meet so many interesting people from across the midwest! Hope to see you again next year!


  1. Thanks for explaining the difference between fens and bogs. Let's see if I can remember that.

    Nice foto of the fen.

  2. Jan-
    We have a Bog in Wooster called Brown's BOg. We have to take a trip there sometime!

  3. No fair!
    First the pink Katydid, now the elfin skimmer?
    I'm going to have to stick closer to YOU!