Monday, October 5, 2015

A Beautiful Day for the Bog

My friend Sue and I canceled our plans for a paddle on Sunday because of the wind, and we opted to visit a bog instead, stopping off in Lake George on our way to the bog to enjoy a picnic lunch on this beautiful beach.

We had hoped to find the Tamaracks in their golden autumn garb, but found them still soft and green when we stepped through a hedge right onto the bog, all spongey with mounds of sphagnum and brilliant with various reds from the maples and blueberry shrubs.

One of the first sights to welcome us onto this bog were dozens of stalks of Cotton Grass, all dancing and bobbing in the breeze.

We call this marvelous place a bog, and it certainly supports many plants that we would expect to find in a bog: Tamarack and Black Spruce trees, Highbush Blueberry and Leatherleaf shrubs, Pitcher Plants and Small Cranberry, Bog Rosemary and Sheep Laurel and more, including several bog-loving orchids.  But it also is watered by a running creek and not solely by rainwater and snowmelt, which would be the case for a true bog.  Perhaps we should call this site a poor fen.  Whatever kind of wetland it is, it sure was beautiful today.

The leaves of Black Huckleberry shrubs blazed as if aflame when lit by the sun.

The glowing red orbs of ripe cranberries were actually hard to find, camouflaged as they were by the deep scarlet of the sphagnum they rested on.

The sphagnum came in many colors, deepest red to rosy pink to vibrant green.

Tucked in among those mounds of moss were these glowing green Pitcher Plants with their scarlet veining.  Their pitchers were full from recent rains, but I didn't peer in to see if any insects had been trapped within.

We found many of these tiny orange mushrooms sprouting up from the sphagnum mat.

And here was a pale rose mushroom, arrayed against moss of a deep ruby red.

We found a number of Arrow Arum plants, each with bulbous fruits that were starting to bury themselves in the moss, where the seeds would produce new plants.

When we visit this bog in mid-July, we are met with the glorious sight of both Grass Pink Orchids and White Fringed Orchids, which abound here in the summer.  Now the only evidence we could find of that marvelous display were a few spent stalks of White Fringed Orchid, still bearing seed pods.

Actually, it was Sue who found those orchid stalks and the Pitcher Plants.  My injured knee was beginning to pain me from the effort of moving in heavy boots through sucking wet sphagnum, so I found a large cushiony mound of sphagnum and lay back for a rest in my bog-style Barcalounger.  Thankfully, I was wearing a Goretex coat or I would have been soaked.  As it was, it felt like heaven!


threecollie said...

So beautiful!We looked for a bog I had visited before yesterday, but sadly didn't find it. This is wonderful!

The Furry Gnome said...

Great pictures, especially those Pitcher Plants, with the veins silhouetted in the light. I love unique habitats like this. There are only a few in southern Ontario. I'd call it a bog too; nature doesn't always come in nice neat absolute categories!

Woody Meristem said...

Northern wetlands are great places, each has its charms and often two nearby sites have very different species.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, dear friends, for stopping by to add your comments. I am so happy to be able to share these amazing places with you.

Pam said...

I love bogs, never heard of Arrow Arum I'll have to look it up.

Pam said...

I love bogs, never heard of Arrow Arum I'll have to look it up.