I spent last Friday at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) near Edgewater MD. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources had organized the day and announced it to Master Naturalists. It was a day well spent! When we were not hiking, we were in a classroom in the Mathias Lab Building, a LEED platinum facility complete with solar panels and geothermal wells.
The first lecture of the day was about spiders (and other creepy crawly critters) that sometimes are unappreciated or frightening to some people. I find myself being more interested in looking closely at spiders – although when one crawled across the ceiling of my bathroom there was still a cringe.
The first critter we saw as we gathered for our hike after the lecture was a spider almost hidden by a funnel shaped web. There were others along our route as well but they are notoriously hard to photograph.
Some of the high points of the hike for me were: Indian pipes (a non-photosynthetic flowering plant),
Wintergreen (a plant that I’ve probably seen before but didn’t know what it was),
The summer version of the jack-in-the-pulpit (the seeds have not turned red – yet),
A click beetle,
Several kinds of ferns (some with spores), and
Then out on the boardwalk to Hog Island where the phragmites is surrounding a shrinking area of cattails.
I’ll continue this post about my day at SERC tomorrow….