The Town of Northfield’s highway department has been busy on my road this week. They’ve been cleaning out the ditches, and that was sorely needed. They also remodelled their catchment pond on my property (they have a right-of-way). Last time they did that they made a huge mess, but this time, they did good.

Catchment Pond

Catchment Pond


The water flows into the pond on the left side. When it gets full enough it will drain out the right side. The purpose of this pond is to catch the rain water and slow it down so it doesn’t pick up an enormous amount of erosive force. I think it will do nicely.

The chipmunks must like it too:

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) tracks

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) tracks

I have not been posting very much as of late as I have been pretty busy. I do have a few shots from days past that I will share. This one is from yesterday.

My wood lot trail

My wood lot trail


You can’t really tell from the photo, but it was pouring rain when I took this shot. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, which is why the catchment pond is full already.

Today when I got home and after I had supper I took Penny out to the yard again. I poked around my woods looking for ferns. Yes – I have started my fern garden. Or more likely, I have committed three fern plants to a slow and certain death. My fern garden is located along the eastern edge of the front yard, right at the edge of the woods. The first specimen was already there – a bracken (Pteridium aquilinum).

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)

Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)


This is the most common fern on my property, and it grows almost everywhere you look – including in the yard and in the driveway. It is ubiquitous. Pretty much no matter where I planted my fern garden, one (or more) of these would already be there.

The second specimen is the sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis).

Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

The third is one I have yet to identify, but I don’t anticipate that it will be too difficult.

Unidentified fern

Unidentified fern

The fourth (and so far, the last) fern in my fern garden might be a lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina). But I reserve the right to be wrong!

Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)

Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)


We have a clump of these that came up in Va’s phlox in the front of the house, and some more growing through the steps on our deck. And there is another clump (from whence these came) growing next to the central air conditioning unit.

I also found some interrupted fern (Osmunda claytoniana) and some cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), but it’s on my neighbor’s property. I would have knocked on his door and asked him if I could dig some up (they’re in a swampy, unmown part of his yard along the roadside), but a) I had Penny with me, and b) I don’t think he was home. I may do that this weekend though. That will bring my garden up to six species. My goal is 15, because that’s how many species of fern one needs to identify in order to earn the Pathfinder Ferns honor. I plan to teach the honor to the club by bringing them over and having them id the ferns. Then we’ll go into the woods and look for some more.

While I was looking for ferns, I ran across a wild rose of some sort. This is growing behind my blackberry patch.

Wild rose

Wild rose


I didn’t know I had any roses here. I hope it establishes itself. All I know is that if I try to help it along, I greatly increase it’s chance of not making it!