Friday, January 23, 2009

Up to the Bog

     Almost balmy today, temp in the mid-20s as I joined a group led by Moreau Lake State Park naturalists for a hike up into the mountains to Lake Ann.  It's a very tiny lake, up about as high as you can climb in this Palmertown Range, and remarkable for a shore that qualifies as a genuine sphagnum bog.  This kind of wetland is quite rare in Saratoga County.  We have lots of swamps and marshes, but bogs -- with their particular acidic conditions -- are hard to come by.

     This one was a little hard to come to today, what with deep snow, a trail untrodden in places, and some pretty steep climbs at times.  Our group, being mostly retirees (and not everyone in great shape), kept up a slow pace, so we hardly had time to explore the bog before we had to start back.  Anyway, most of the interesting plants that signify bog conditions were buried deep, deep down in the snow; exceptions were highbush blueberry shrubs, black spruce and tamarack trees. 

     I've hiked several times to Lake Ann during the spring and summer, so I do have these photos of some of the bog plants there: sphagnum moss, cranberry, and leatherleaf.  I once tried walking around Lake Ann to see what else might be growing there, but encountered signs posted by McGregor State Prison warning me not to proceed.  I think they might even have said intruders could  be shot on sight.  But probably not.   Today we could have just strolled around the lake on ice. 


catharus said...

Oh yes, the bog is a favorite of mine; these are all very familiar plants to me, though in the bog I visit especially in the summer, doesn't have cranberries -- at least not many. It does though, have poison sumac, and most importantly, high-bush blueberries!

Woodswalker said...

Where is your bog, Catharus? I visit one up in Essex County, NY, but it's over an hour from home and hard to get to. But what flowers! Bog laurel, bog rosemary, pitcher plant, rose pogonia, sundew, horned bladderwort, marsh cinquefoil, etc., etc.