Flynn Bogs Chapter I

CHAPTER I - Wet Woods


There is a fine wet wood just off the main ranch road. (The owner has a road grader and is fond of moving his roads from time to time, but this one seems to stay mostly in one place.)

A large portion of the woodland canopy is made up of typical Post Oak Savannah trees such as Quercus stellata (Post Oak)

and Ulmus alata (Winged Elm).

However, that the woods have much in common with East Texas woods is made evident by the presence of Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum) and Ilex opaca (American Holly).

Sweet Gum is easily recognized by its star-shaped leaves and spiky "gumball" fruits. It has brilliant fall color ranging from lemon yellow to deep maroon, with multiple colors appearing on a single tree.

American Holly has spiny leaves that look much like the holly used at Christmastime. Hollies are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants. Only the females bear the bright red berries.

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The canopy is firmly interwoven by a meshwork of Smilax (Catbriar, Greenbriar) stems. These wiry vines with their vicious prickles make venturing very far into the woods a difficult and unpleasant task.

Under the trees the ground is very wet, and standing water is everywhere. In this shady environment, some interesting ferns can be found.Pteridium aquilinum (Western Bracken-fern) has highly-divided, leathery leaves. In this species, the fertile fronds look just like the sterile ones.

Woodwardia areolata (Chainfern), the fertile fronds look a bit narrower and thicker than the sterile ones. The fronds tend to be thinner in texture and a lighter green than those of Bracken-fern.

Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) the fertile parts of the fronds don't look anything like sterile parts. There are only sterile fronds on this plant.

The fertile parts are at the end of a frond containing sterile parts below.

A member of the same genus, Osmunda cinnamomea, which we have not found at the Flynn bogs, has separate sterile and fertile fronds.

The fertile parts in both Royal and Cinnamon Fern are almost completely covered by powdery brown spores.


Chapter II - Roadside Seep


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