Jones Park Celebrity!
Well, it's not every day that you can say you know a Rock Star. This little guy has become quite famous!
If you spend any time at Jones,
you might have seen Ken. He's usually carrying a knapsack, and his 35mm camera on a tripod. You'll more than likely find him just off the trail somewhere, eyes peeled groundward, in his own little world. He has a voluminous knowledge of all kinds of little plants that most of us just walk right past, and he's always happy to share his knowledge. His is the world of plants, and he always looks like he's searching for a needle in a haystack. Well... He's Found One!
As mentioned above, this is a rare variety of fern called Botrychium. Now, it could be one of two varieties of said species, and there's only two ways to tell; study its biological makeup in a lab, or wait till Spring to see what color it assumes. Regardless, it is extremely rare in these parts.
In fact, it is the first known sighting
of this species in Broome County. Ken tells me that there are three confirmed sightings in the historical register (yes, there is such a thing), all in Tioga County. This is the first time one has been spotted, recognized, and confirmed, in Broome County History.
Further, Ken has sent in the proper forms,
and the Chief Botanist at the NY Natural Heritage Program has confirmed the sighting and entered it in the County Historical Registry, the first confirmed rare species sighting in 42 years!
If you see Ken, congratulate him. He's a Super Sleuth!
I hadn't seen Ken at the Park all Summer, but chanced to run into him one Fall day as the leaves were falling in abundance. As usual, he had news. It seems that the rare Botrichium fern has taken quite a liking to Jones Park, because there has been an explosion of new examples popping up. The interesting thing is that, while Ken has spotted nearly 40 new plants, they are mostly to be found in another location than the previous find! Quite how all of this works is obviously a real mystery. I can't pretend to have any real knowledge of plants, but I find this all extremely interesting!
Life is going on in all of its miriad viarieties everyhwere around us, my friends.