Penn Swamp Branch, a PBX Explore

Teegate

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All,


With the summer months coming for other pine barren adventures, all of the PBX member on 5/11 received the announcements of our final PBX hike of the season. Here is an edited version of the announcement from Bob.



At 8:30 AM on Saturday, 6 June, we will meet at the usual place on the road to Wading Pines Campground in order to consolidate our bodies and our gear. From there we will dump a couple vehicles on the way to our starting point on the Batsto River’s eastern side. Our goal is to travel partway down the Batsto until the Penn Swamp Branch delta, and thence up the Penn Swamp Branch to it’s very source my friends…just a short jump from good old Mount Jemima..or Jemima Mount if you are local.

As usual, I will try to reserve a portion of the picnic grove at Wading Pines Campground for an after trip barbecue.

Hope to see you there. Until then….Happy Trails Boys!




On this hike we had members:

Bob (bobpbx)
Jessica
Myself
Scott (RednekF350)
Gabe (pinelandpaddler)
Tom Folcher (long-a-coming)
Chris (Hewey)
Ted Gordon (Lost Town Hunter)
Along with original PBX member Paul


The vehicle logistics were quite involved. Bob met Scott and drove to a parking area along Tuckerton Road near Jemima Mount. They then drove back to Washington. The rest of us met up at 563 at the entrance to Wading Pines. We then left a few vehicles at the entrance to Wading Pines and drove my car, Lost Town Hunter's and Hewey's vehicle to Washington to meet up with Bob and Scott. We left my car there and drove the three remaining vehicles to two locations along the route as well as the starting point. Along the Batsto River near the confluence of the Penn Swamp Branch. Unfortunately, my GPS did not keep a record of our tracks so I can't pass that along; however, here is the map from Bob showing our planned route. Click on it to make it larger.





Jessica shown here navigating a cedar swamp.




Blue Flag Iris





The end of the Penn Swamp Branch at the Batsto.






The bridge from Quaker Bridge to Batsto.





Tom, Chris and Scott.




Taking a short break as well as our lunch break in the middle of a road.








Jessica ascending one of the many islands we visited on our route.





Walking the margin.




Interesting find.








Lost Town Hunter moving along well.








I found this to be the nicest place along the way.




Jemima Mount in view.




And my favorite photo of the day showing the valley at Jemima Mount.





It was after 7PM before we all arrived at Wading Pines as a few of us had to pick up all of the vehicles along the route. Here again we celebrate our final time this season as well as for other reasons.





I have a few video's that I will post later today. The weather had it's moments but all and all it was a great day.


Guy
 
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manumuskin

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Not sure but that Shrrom looks like a Tooth Shroom possibly a Bears Tooth shroom. My buddy the mycologist has been trying to teach me shrroms.Not up to eating the ones I identify yet.Not that brave yet.
 

Teegate

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BTW, I am now going to stop using youtube as much as possible and see if you all find this way better. Let me know if you prefer this way or youtube. Give them a little time to load.

Here is a video of Lost Town Hunter being a trooper at the final crossing of a very strenuous section of the hike with physical help from Bob and important feedback from Scott. And a few inside jokes as usual.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/ted1.mp4

The beauty and sounds of the Penn Swamp Swamp Branch.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/psb.mp4


And a recent post by Ed in another tread also showed these Buck Moth caterpillars that Gibby identified.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/cat.mp4
 
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bobpbx

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Nice posts Guy!

Penn Swamp Branch. A really remote creek. Nice scenery, great friends, good food. Chris and Scott had marinated venison and wild turkey that they deep fried on the spot. It was great!

I got hurt on this trip; sprained my back real good. The last mile was agony. Thanks for the help at the barbecue all.

The Dean of the Pine Barrens, Mr. Ted Gordon, in a wonderful little savanna along the Batsto.
Ted.PNG


Chris, full battle gear in a really colorful cedar swamp.
Chris.PNG


Penn Swamp Pond.
Pond.PNG


Wide Wooded beauty. Up near the road crossing through Penn Swamp.
CedarWoods.PNG
 

Teegate

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Nice photo's of Ted and Chris. And for certain one of the only photo's from the back of Penn Swamp Pond ever taken.
 

manumuskin

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I can't tell what it is (Shroom) without being there to touch it but it looks like a tooth shroom to me and they frequently exude different color liquids,sometimes blood red sometimes clear but they feel like a shroom and instead of gills they have thousands of small spikes or teeth.
 

smoke_jumper

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My first impression was sap but I'm thinking I'm wrong. Either way I'm thinking I missed out on great time judging by all the great pics.
 

manumuskin

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Oh I whought you were there smoke jumper.I guess my next question Did you touch it? is answered.It looks like a tooth shroom to me.Shape and color is right but I can't touch it to see if it's a shroom.Some species "bleed" red liquid,this looks to be bleeding clear.
 
Great photo documentation, Guy and Bob, of another fine exploratory excursion. Aside from a small number of hunters, few have likely explored this wild, remote country known as Penn Swamp Branch or Goodwater Run more extensively than our small group. However, back in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, a group of Pine Barrens experts called the Pine Barren Conservationists made several visits to the Penn Swamp Pond section of this region to observe its special flora and fauna. My only regret was our inability to explore the pond because of severe flooding, the result of recent heavy rains and beaver dam construction. The best time to visit the pond is during a dry spell.
 

Teegate

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Here are the details. I poked at it with the metal end of my walking stick and tried to knock it off. It did not move. I then gouged it right across the complete front of it and my stick went in about a 1/4 inch and cut across the complete front of it. It then looked almost exactly as the photo's show so it filled in somewhat hiding the gouge. To me it was more like sap but I had to leave because everyone was heading off.
 
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RednekF350

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To me, the Penn Swamp Branch area we explored defines the Pine Barrens.
I have hunted solo many years ago in areas west of the Branch and my sons still remember the deer exclosure fencing around the cedars installed years ago along Quaker Bridge Road when we would take a Saturday night ride through the Big Woods.
I never thought that I would someday walk most of its length in a day.

The hike took us first to a beautiful, quiet area along the Batsto and then to the confluence of the Branch and the Batsto. It was there that we heard two good thunder booms and it began to rain lightly. The storm skirted us and we got a little damp but it was no big deal. From there it was a slow walk along the branch and its many faces.

I can't fully express how grateful I am to be healthy enough at 57 to do these kinds of things and I truly admire Ted at 77 who trudged on to the bitter end with the rest of us.

As I told another PBX'er, the woods will always be there but someday we will not be in the woods.
Life is very short.

Our first view of the "Trickle". An area filled with amazing plant life.


Some of that amazing life. Iris versicolor.


The man, who along with Guy, puts this Army in motion.


The roaring Branch just a few yards from the confluence.


The sun returns around 3:30 when we started north of QB Road.


A botanical anomaly. Mountain Laurel which has a facultative upland wetland status clinging to a little hump in the swamp.


And lastly, a hunter's last stand. A homemade ladder. If it could only talk.


At the afterparty Chris and I showed these folks a little backwoods cooking style with Chris supplying the turkey and me the deer. I fired up my cast iron pot and we had deep fried marinated turkey and deer nuggets. It went like popcorn.

I hope we never let it die.
 
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Teegate

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If that ladder could talk I would sit there for hours. Very nice Scott.
 

manumuskin

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Here are the details. I poked at it with the metal end of my walking stick and tried to knock it off. It did not move. I then gouged it right across the complete front of it and my stick went in about a 1/4 inch and cut across the complete front of it. It then looked almost exactly as the photo's show so it filled in somewhat hiding the gouge. To me it was more like sap but I had to leave because everyone was heading off.
It is not a tooth mushroom then.They have an odd shape and odd gills and exude red liquid but they feel and smell like your everyday mushroom.I thought the sap I was seeing was the clear form of the red liquid.
 
Both Guy (early in the report) and Scott (preceding his picture of Bob) each posted a beautiful photo of an iris. I'm pleased to say that they are not the same species. Guy's image depicts Slender Blue Flag, Iris prismatica, with very narrow leaves (especially noticeable at the lower right of the photo); Scott's depicts the Larger or Northern Blue Flag, Iris, versicolor, with substantially wider leaves as well as wider flowers. It would be great if Guy could post these side-by-side below.
 
BTW, I am now going to stop using youtube as much as possible and see if you all find this way better. Let me know if you prefer this way or youtube. Give them a little time to load.

Here is a video of Lost Town Hunter being a trooper at the final crossing of a very strenuous section of the hike with physical help from Bob and important feedback from Scott. And a few inside jokes as usual.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/ted1.mp4

The beauty and sounds of the Penn Swamp Swamp Branch.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/psb.mp4


And a recent post by Ed in another tread also showed these Buck Moth caterpillars that Gibby identified.

http://home.comcast.net/~islandtee/video/cat.mp4
Thanks, fellows, for your assistance especially at the deep water section of the swamp. Somehow I managed to keep my feet dry during the entire exploration. Regarding the unusual "follow the leader" behavior of the immature Buck-moth caterpillars, Hemileuca maia, I was unable to find any explanation.
 

RednekF350

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Both Guy (early in the report) and Scott (preceding his picture of Bob) each posted a beautiful photo of an iris. I'm pleased to say that they are not the same species. Guy's image depicts Slender Blue Flag, Iris prismatica, with very narrow leaves (especially noticeable at the lower right of the photo); Scott's depicts the Larger or Northern Blue Flag, Iris, versicolor, with substantially wider leaves as well as wider flowers. It would be great if Guy could post these side-by-side below.
Whoops ! Sorry Ted.
I did take a picture of prismatica but on my phone. I deleted it because it wasn't very good. The others were taken with the camera and the versicolor was the only one of the day that was in bloom.
Well, I recovered the fuzzy iPhone image and here are the two images.

"Larger or Northern Blue Flag, Iris versicolor."



Slender Blue Flag, Iris prismatica
 
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Guy, it appears that you did not totally understand my comments. We definitely saw two species of iris in flower on the day of our trip: yours at the beginning of the report which is the Slender Blue Flag, Iris prismatica, and Scott's, which is the Larger or Northern Blue Flag, Iris versicolor. Simply replace your fuzzy image of Iris prismatica on this page with your clear image near the beginning of the report. It would help further if at the beginning you would change your caption to read "Slender Blue Flag, Iris prismatica." Scott needs to change his caption to "Larger or Northern Blue Flag, Iris versicolor." His photo is not Iris prismatica.
 
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