Beyond Wilden Marsh and Hoo Wood – Broad Haven – Vermont – Part 1.


Ghost Plant – Monotropa uniflora. Monotropa uniflora, also known as the ghost plant, Indian pipe, or corpse plant, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of Asia, North America and northern South America, but with large gaps between areas. It was formerly classified in the family Monotropaceae, however, it has now been included within the Ericaceae. It is generally scarce or rare in occurance. I photographed this Ghost Plant in West Topsham, Vermont.

I spent the last week of June at the beautiful and unhurried Pembrokeshire coastal resort of Broad Haven. In the centre of the village, perhaps 50 metres back from the sea wall, is the edge of a small, but vibrant, marsh and nature reserve called the ‘Slashpond‘. I stay in a seafront cottage, a former coach house, with large swathes of six feet high common reeds of the marsh bordering the backyard. It’s a bit of a ‘busman’s holiday’ for me; this is the third year in succession I have visited. The flora and insect life is similar to that of Wilden Marsh, so I am very much at home there.

Last year, a rotting wooden walkway forced the closure of the marshy section of the Broad Haven reserve. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of a recently formed group of local volunteers dedicated to the repair and future upkeep of this valuable seaside resource, the whole Slashpond reserve is fully open again.

Today is August 17th, and I am writing this post from a log house perched on a forested hill in Vermont. This is my third visit in ten years. Lying at my feet is an overweight Australian sheepdog called Cai. Outside is a scene thick with luxurious green vegetation stretching to the horizon in every direction – mostly maple, silver birch, pine trees, and a species of buddleia. There is a small pasture, a paddock, a barn, and a horse called Cody close to the house. A white water brook tumbles over many boulders on its way swiftly down the steep wooded hill to Waits River.

Beyond the paddock is a sandy plateau peppered with plants such as evening primrose, golden rod, and Arron’s rod, reminding me of ‘the beach’ on Wilden Marsh. Unlike Wilden Marsh though, moose, bear, groundhog and wild turkey are seen from time to time.

This blog is about Wilden Marsh and Hoo Wood, so why am I bothering to write about areas far removed from my home ground? I suppose I am bothering for a few reasons:

I. to compare fauna and flora of other geographical areas with those of Wilden Marsh.

2. to learn from similar environments, particularly about the range of species that coexist, how they differ, and how well they thrive.

3. writing about these experiences will remind me that Wilden Marsh is one of many areas that can benefit from sympathetic intervention, providing someone has the will and the resources to make it happen.

4. as a reminder that it is not always right or desirable to interfere with nature.

5. to reinforce my belief that it is sometimes worthwhile fighting to save small pockets of nature from industrial, leisure and residential pressures that might threaten to overwhelm or destroy them.

11 Comments on “Beyond Wilden Marsh and Hoo Wood – Broad Haven – Vermont – Part 1.

    • Thank you. There are plenty of calm and peaceful areas about, even in the busiest of places. They can be found with a little effort, and they offer so much to those prepared to seek them out.

      • That’s very true. I used to live in Maryland and there was plenty of farmland and wooded areas to find solitude. Now I live in South Florida (Miami Area) and it’s become much more of a challenge to find a place out of the blistering sun to enjoy nature without the many interruptions of people. Sometime I just want to be alone in the woods again.

      • This is true, but sometimes opportunities arise one can’t pass up, I will find a place of solitude, just might take some driving.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: