Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Flora after the flood of Elizabeth Lake

Allegheny Monkey Flower
 An unusual phenomenon with the high water at Elizabeth Lake has been the lifting of whole areas of cattails forming floating islands that have drifted with the winds.  Most days they can be found at the north end of the lake impeding visibility of the water and giving the appearance of solid ground. 

 In the last couple of days however, they moved off to another area of the lake taking flora and fauna within with them.  On one of these Dr Doolittle type islands the other day I spotted this plant.

 Its appearance suggested that it is a member of  the the Scrophulariaceae or Figwort Family but its accurate identification has eluded me.  If anyone out there knows for sure what species this is please let me know. My tentative identification labels it as Allegheny Monkey Flower or Mimulus ringens.  What is really important is that this pretty pink flowered plant grows and can be easily seen on our doorstep in the wet environment provided by the floating islands of Elizabeth Lake. 

Dalmation Toadflax in far from its normal form as it struggles to keep going
In contrast to this interesting little find is the invasive Dalmation Toadflax or Linaria vulgaris which still manages to push through the flooded paths and force out a bloom.  It's appearance is a far cry from normal in this photo as it emerges from the mud.  This plant normally thrives in dry wastelands but its existence here demonstrates why it can be so invasive.

The Ribes odoratum or Clove Currant that I have written about before has now been drained of high water.  As predicted oxygen starvation whilst in the water has taken its toll.  It does not look good but despite that, the shrub has managed to form some berries which will hopefully be viable next spring and germinate to replace this long standing cluster of the sweet scented flowering shrub.
Berries of Ribes odoratum or Buffalo Currant

dead stems and leaves of shrubs, (including Ribes odoratum)  and trees that have been under water for three months

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