SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany seedless vascular plant hike 15 January 2008

On the way to the trailhead Nostoc was seen in the planter in front of the gym.

On top of the ridgeline

The class stopped on the ridgeline to view the lycopodium Lycopodiella cernua and the sun-loving fern Dicranopteris linearis. Lycopodium is a member of the division Lycopodiophyta, the ferns are members of division Pteridophyta.

The class then paused at the top of the steep slope where Nephrolepis spp. and Thelypteris maemonensis were observed and discussed. Local uses and meanings of these plants was also discussed, along with names in the local languages. While there, I located Microsorum scolopendria. I asked a Pohnpeian student the name, and they responded ulung en kieil ( Davallia solida). This opened up an opportunity to discuss the common confusion with kideu. I noted the possibility that this represented devolution of the language, but that alternately it could have been the result of an intentional obfuscation. On a tree with both kideu and tehnlik, I found young Asplenium nidus and asked about its name. I also asked the Pohnpeians what the presence of tehnlik on a yam signifies.

Walking down a muddy slope is a skill indirectly taught in this course.
Heading down a steep and slippery slope.

On the slope

Clambering down the slippery muddy slope, I located a small Vittaria tucked away on the downhill side of a tree. I also asked the class to have a good look at the mosses.

Amidst the fern forest

This term I opted not to take role or do any paperwork, but to hit the trail at 3:30 to maximize our time in the woods. I had warned the class not to bring books, and we locked backpacks in the division supply closet. This provided me time to slow down and examine the trees more closely. Down in the forest I found the epiphytes Huperzia phlegmaria and Psilotum complanatum. Much to my surprise, on the same small tree as the Huperzia phlegmaria, I located Humata banksii. This suggests a nice matching and local naming SVP exercise for test one. I also found mahrek en leng, an epiphytic fern similar to Nephrolepis but with a serated frondlet. The extra time was indeed beneficial as I had been walking right by the mahrek en leng for the past six years.

mud wallow
Wallowing in the mud

Father along the trail a discussion was held on the uses of the tree fern Cyathea nigricans.

mud walking
Learning to slog through muck

I then took the class down to the river where I took role and dismissed the class.