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.