I went out in search of beech drops for today’s sketch. I didn’t find any. On my way up the path toward the pond, though, I found something exciting.
Today’s nature sketch features American ginseng in early October. The leaves are yellowing now, the fruits have all fallen, and winter is coming.
This American ginseng plant is growing in an unexpected spot. It is not one I planted, and I would have never thought to look for wild ginseng in this location.
This makes it all the more exciting. It’s growing on the downhill side of a cedar deadfall, among poison ivy and one pawpaw tree sprout along with some other scrappy little saplings of unidentified sorts. The trees overhead are dogwood, elm, and cedar. Besides the pawpaw, the only other typical companion plant I saw was a grape fern.
I would have to describe the site as a recovering location. It looks as if it was on the outskirts of dozer damage when the logging road was used last, which had to have been fifteen years ago. We only use it now for the 4-wheeler, but it’s still wide enough for a small pickup to fit through.
Aside from the ginseng I found withering remains of twayblade orchid and a Lady’s Tresses orchid, also on the decline.
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