Last saturday I ventured into the Franklin Parker Preserve in the Pinelands. This 14 square mile tract was acquired in 2003 by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. It features sandy trails through a pitch pine forest, and wild blueberry alongside pristine streams. There are two public entrances, one south of Chatsworth on county route 563, and one west of Chatsworth off the Tabernacle-Chatsworth Road
It was an overcast morning but plant material was lush from the recent rain. Here are a couple of specimens. I don’t know what the dark pink flowered plant is although the blossoms certainly resemble those of mountain laurel but the leaves are different. The bells on the right are, I believe, blueberry blossoms
So much for the flora; the only fauna I encountered were four ticks who opted to come home on me. Lesson: USE DEET.
The woods on either side of the Chatsworth-Barnegat road on my way to LBI are laden with ferns. Here’s a nice example: