BARTHOLOMEW'S COBBLE

MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT FERN

MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT FERN

Walking the Ledges Trail at Bartholomew's Cobble is like walking inside a stone sculpture.

Conservation ranger Rene Wendell provides a rich history of the site in the audio below:

 

INTERVIEW: We're a property owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations, one of the oldest land conservation organizations in the country. We're actually a natural national landmark because of our biodiversity. And the biodiversity comes from the cobbles themselves: two big rocky outcroppings of limestone and marble and quartzite.

Five hundred million years ago, this whole area was an inland sea - coral reefs and shells and lime precipitate built up over millennia, over on the sea floor with sand. Then we had the mountain-building events, it was thrust up and under incredible heat and pressure, the limestone was metamorphosized into marble and the sandstone metamorphosized into quartzite. The funny thing about those two rocks - limestone and marble being alkaline limey and quartzite being acidic, so there's a huge array of soil conditions to grow in. You can have on one rock a lime-loving fern and an acid-loving fern growing side-by-side.

We have over 43 species of ferns and fern allies. Over 800 vascular plants have been seen here. And, over 273 species of birds have been seen in the area as well. 

Conservation ranger Rene Wendell. When you visit the Cobble, you'll probably see him there.