Welcome to my Scavenger Hunt Page!
First A Summary on Geology:
Ohio has a geology that can be split between its eastern and western halves. The western half of it being primarily limestone while the eastern half is primarily sandstone. Limestone is an easily weathered rock leaving much flatter, worn areas with older rock exposed in the western part of Ohio. Sandstone, however, is much more durable meaning the eastern has suffered far less weathering. Originally the sequence of sedimentary rock strata follows a layering of limestone covered by shale, which is then covered by sandstone. This arch experienced the most weathering at its highest point in the western part of Ohio. The eastern part however was where the low-lying toe of the arch was located. The arch has since been leveled through millions of years of erosion leaving the older lower layers of the arch exposed in the west. The erosion of these areas can be attributed to the Teays River which existed as a preglacial stream and was present for around 200 million years. The river was able to erode the landscape up until the presence of the glaciers in Ohio around a hundred thousand years ago. The glaciers of Ohio were met with a challenge as they encountered the steep-sided sandstone hills of eastern Ohio. The limestone on western side of Ohio, however, provided no challenges for glaciers to spread and expand.
Glacial till is an unsorted mixture of sand, silt, clay, and boulders. The till in each of the regions of Ohio is made up of different compositions representing the bedrock of each region. The till of western Ohio being rich in clay and limestone while the eastern till is very low in both. The till goes on to affect the soil substrates present for plants. Looking at the western portion of Ohio we find substrates for plants that are very limey, clayey and relatively impermeable. However, these substrates are also poorly drained and inadequately aerated. The water tends to settle at the top of the soil due to its course make-up, leaving the soil to be deficient in oxygen, but high in nutrients. On the contrary, the eastern region has plant substrates that are quite acidic, permeable, and low in nutrients. Despite this, these substrates allow plants to have easy and continual access to the available water in the soil.
Five limestone trees and shrubs include: redbud, fragrant sumac, hackberry, hornbeam, and the nodding thistle.
Five clay-rich trees and shrubs include: sugar maple, beech, red oak, shagbark hickory, and white ash.
Five sandstone trees and shrubs include: chestnut oak, scrub pine, hemlock, mountain laurel, and huckleberry blueberry
Sweet buckeye finds itself outside the glacial boundary and in the unglaciated region of Ohio but does not extend all the way north in this region. The hemlock is also found outside the glacial barrier yet is quite abundant across all of the unglaciated region and even crosses the border in some areas. The rhododendron is different from both of these as it is found only in a few select areas of the unglaciated region but is considered to be a species that belongs to a mixed mesophytic association.
Now to the plants!
Stop One: Battelle Darby – Teal Harrier Trail
Stop Two: Battelle Darby – Cedar Ridge Picnic Area
Stop Three: Battelle Darby – Indian Ridge Area
New England Aster
Stop Four: Cedar Bog
Here’s a little bit about Cedar Bog, which is actually not a bog! Cedar bog is a nature preserve in Urbana, Ohio and is known for its remarkable amount of diversity in plants. It is ranked highest of any preserve in Ohio for its Floristic Diversity Index. This area first appeared after the Wisconsin glacier retreated and has been maintained by cool water and cool climate. Within this preserve are six different plant associations the bog meadow, marl meadow, arbor vitae, swamp forest, hardwood forest, and shrub associations. The bog has a total of 546 taxa of vascular plants.
- What species is the fen named after? – Ferns!
- Which Snakeroot are you seeing along the path? – White viper root!