|Lake Huron Tansy|
|Ram's Head Lady's Slipper|
|Dwarf Lake Iris|
That evening, instead of getting to bed early like my body told me to, I decided to stay up until after midnight visiting with friends. The next morning, I was up by 6:30 AM with high hopes of seeing more rare plants on an all day field trip to the eastern Upper Peninsula peatlands with Brad Slaughter.
Brad does not disappoint. After an hour long drive and some confusion in getting our group of several vehicles together, we all made it into Eckerman Fen where we saw a mix of calciphiles and acidophiles growing in mucky soils and sphagnum hummocks. Although a couple of the sedges were highlights for me, the group seemed to enjoy Dragon's Mouth (Arethusa bulbosa) more than any of the other plants we saw in bloom. I have to admit... even this sedgehead was a bit mystified by the enormous pink blooms of the Dragon's Mouth plants, which occur on relatively short stems growing out of the sides of sphagnum mounds. Dragon's Mouth grows in bogs, fens, swamps, and sedge meadows in the northeastern states and provinces of North America.
|Small Yellow Lady's Slipper|
When we arrived back to the field station, the sun was already beginning to fall below the northern Michigan horizon, and I knew I had to get on the road for home soon. By 10 PM, I was on my way, stopping to sleep at a rest stop for an hour to help me get home safely by 4:00 AM on 28 May. Another whirlwind, in a way considered one of the dumber things I've done given that I drove 12 hours round trip for 20 hours or so of botanizing, and given that I slept only 10 hours during this 72-hour period. But as you can see here, and as I hope to show in posts this winter if I ever get caught up on the rest of the year of botanizing, it was defintely worth the trip.