The GoBotany Walk organized by Wayland Walks on 6 August was well received among the many participants.
Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist at the New England Wild Flower Society, led a short tour up Turkey Hill, behind the Church of the Holy Spirit at 169 Rice Road, demonstrating how to collect plant samples and explaining the making of the software program she was about to apply to said samples.
Back at the church we hopped on the internet and Elizabeth introduced one part of GoBotany, a richly illustrated interactive key to over 3,500 native and naturalized plants of our region developed by the New England Wild Flower Society’s definitive on-line Flora of New England, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Digitally tagging along on our varied online devices (smart phones, laptops, tablets), we identified a Cinnamon Fern and a Field Hedge Nettle which the youngest of us had bravely identified as Field Mint (close! nettles are in the mint family).
The program also has a linked dichotomous key for more experienced botanists, and PlantShare, where plant enthusiasts, teachers, and students can share discoveries, and develop collaborative checklists for sites.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for a wonderful afternoon spent seeing the forest for the trees.