The Fen, late spring–and what’s a fen?

Who walks in the fen when it’s raining? The Big Guy and I do. Peaceful. Beautiful. Today is cloudy, so the leaves are not in a riot of sunshine, but they are lovely.  The raindrops glowed on the leaves, hard to see from cell phone photos.

Nonetheless, the fen is an interesting and often  lovely walk.

 

What is a fen? Definition of fen

While a wetland, a fen is not a bog, swamp, or marsh.  So what is a fen?

It is an unusual wetland; The US Dept. of agriculture defines a fen as:

Fens are a type of wetland. Wetlands are ecosystems where the water table is at or near the ground surface for most of the growing season on most years, and as a consequence, the substrate is poorly aerated, and inundation or saturation last long enough that the dominant plants are those that can exist in wet and reducing conditions. The long duration anaerobic conditions limit the decomposition of plant roots, leaves, and stems and over time this organic matter accumulates to form peat soil. Wetlands include the margins of streams and rivers, and the shores of lakes. There are several types of wetlands: swamps, marshes, bogs, and fens.

 

Furthermore, there are a number of types of fens, and described here: Types of Fens. Furthermore, there are both rich fens and poor fens.  Scientists are beginning to determine the age of fens, and since peat accumulates slowly, fens are being determined to be thousands of years old, as discussed here: Age of fens

 

In our many years of walking here, we know the fen as the place of interesting plants.

 

 

A good science news site

sky-earth-galaxy-universe    As I wrote before, I’ll be sharing what I have found to be   interesting, novel, important, or fun websites.

Here is another site worth visiting for science news.  Science affects us all on a personal, societal, and global level.  Interesting and important articles. I’d do some reading there.  If you know of any other good science sites (for a layperson like me!), I’d love to hear about them.  I know very little about science… but know it’s important to keep learning.

Sciencenews.org website