Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Fen

A couple of weeks ago I finally got a chance to walk through a Bruce Trail property in the valley that has a small 'fen'.  A fen is an unusual type of wetland, much more typical of the Hudson Bay Lowlands.  Basically it is open or semi-open wetland, typically ankle deep in water, with a lot of grasses and sedges, and sometimes as in this case, shrubs and a few trees.  So this would properly be termed a 'shrub fen'.

I could only walk to the edge of it, because of the water.  But even there you could find some of the interesting species that make a fen unique.  This is the blue flag, or wild iris, growing along the edge of the fen.  A bright splash of colour in an otherwise green picture.

Some ferns are typical of fens too.  This is a royal fern, also found along the edge of the wetland.  Without rubber boots I couldn't get far beyond the edge anyway.

The royal fern is one of those ferns that carries its spores on a separate fertile part of the frond.  Although this emerges green, it quickly turns grown, and will eventually release the spores inside the brown spore cases or 'sori'.

I hope that someday we can develop a side trail from the Bruce Trail that will enable people to have a look at this unique fen in the Beaver Valley.  In the meantime, I'm cross-listing this post to Alphabe-Thursday.


  1. Nice series of pictures! Love the fern.

  2. I had never heard of a fen, but now I know what it is. Everything is so lush and green there.

  3. Great Stuff.
    David Gascoigne

    1. Always glad to discover another interesting Ontario blogger. Thanks for visiting.