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Rhodora-in-Bloom Heath Walk
May 19 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pmFree
Join Maine Master Naturalist Fred Cichocki and Jim McCarthy, nature photographer, for a walk to view and if you wish, photograph, the gorgeous magenta Rhodora in bloom on the Heath Fen. The Cathance River Nature Preserve is host to a fascinating Sphagnum moss wetland ecosystem known as a Heath Fen and late Spring is just the time to experience its rare beauty. Many of the acid loving plants that call the Heath home will be in glorious full bloom: Rhodora and Sheep Laurel; alluring pink rose pogonia orchids; pure white Wild Calla; and more. A riot of color to be sure. You’ll also encounter other unusual plants (besides the Sphagnums themselves) such as carnivorous Sundews, Bog Clubmoss, Buttonbush, Large Cranberry, and others.
The timing of the bloom is relatively short (it lasts approximately a week). This will be a moderately-paced walk of about one mile total on the Heath Trail at the Cathance River Nature Preserve. We are not requiring pre-registration for this event. Parking is limited so please carpool if you are coming with others.
As the group soaks up the visual brilliance of the Rhodora in bloom, Fred will share his deep knowledge of the Heath Fen ecosystem and CREA Photographer Laureate James McCarthy will share tips on creative nature photography. You can find Jim’s guide Photographing in Nature here and bring your questions and creative ideas on the walk.
Fred Cichocki refers to himself as a natural historian. Academic credentials aside, he is a co-founder of the Maine Master Naturalist Program, Adjunct Curator of Vertebrates at the Maine State Museum, on the faculty of the Midcoast Senior College, and a member of the Maine Student Science Volunteers. Since 2018, Fred has directed/mentored Mt. Ararat Honors biology students in field research into the biodiversity of the Preserve’s Heath Fen ecosystem.
Jim McCarthy is a former editor of The Times Record. His photographs have appeared in the Cleveland Museum of Arts annual juried May Show four times, as well as in solo and group exhibitions in Maine. This is his eleventh year leading walks for CREA.