Lost brook cave

10 Jun

This was my first trip to the Lost brook valley which features some gypsum and limestone caves where many thousands of bats hibernate for the winter, unfortunately some campers a few miles from the caves mentioned possibly all the bats died inside the different caves this year due to the white-nose fungus. So I followed a path as the campers directed and took a few photos near one of the caves. When I returned home I checked for info on the white-nose fungus and the campers were quite accurate in their figures as researchers did say 100% death rate in the caves was their estimate, normally around 6,000 bats enter the caves and the fungus was initially detected in this area 2 years ago.

This area has some plants species which are rare south of the arctic though today I will just show a few common ones to most rivers of the maritime provinces in Canada.

The second year stage of evening primrose, (Oenothera biennis), a fine medicinal and edible plant. This healthy one in the photo could easily reach 7 feet high near the end of summer.

I have not gathered or used this plant before, Purple avens (Geum rivale) though I may try it this year as its roots when boiled are supposed to have a flavor similar to hot chocolate once sugar and milk are added.

The light green leaves in the center of the picture are Orpine (Sedum telephium) which soon I will do a whole post on, as this plant I suspect will be of interest to some of you.

Good old Yellow goatsbeard, has these petals hauled in like a rain hat, I must admit I could have made good use of one today as well. rain for now

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4 Responses to “Lost brook cave”

  1. Jeremy DuCheny June 10, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Let us know if the Purple Avens actually taste like chocolate. I’ve heard rumors that basswood buds also have a similar flavor, but I couldn’t taste it. Sad to hear about the bats.

    • 1left June 10, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Jeremy, my experiment with the chocolateness of basswood was similar to yours, I probably will try the purple avens around Oct or Nov this year as I’ll keep an eye out for a good location and observe the plants during the growing season. The number of bats that have died due to white-nose fungus is now over 5 million across N.A. so lets hope some bats develop a resistance or some other solution materializes to help in their recovery.

  2. mobius faith June 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    We had a cave locally in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park – and it is now closed to help protect the bat population from the white noise syndrome.

    Hmmmm a plant that tastes like Hot chocolate – I’m in. Let me know if it does taste like chocolate.

    • 1left June 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      mobius, I’m reading mixed reviews on the taste of this plants roots as a tea. So it is probably best to try it from a few different soil types and use different stages of root development as well. I’ve noticed many wild plants can change dramatically in taste from soil to soil. 2 plants in this post are good examples, evenging primrose roots and orpine can taste really good if gathered at the right time and place, they can also taste just the opposite. So I’m sure I’ve been turned off by some good wild foods by just eating them from locations with less than favorable soil PH or soil nutrients on the first try. So now a days I nibble and sniff my way on my little adventures, this is a part of foraging often not mentioned to folks. I’m looking forward to this possible wild hot chocolate tea with maybe some added mint. ciao

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