Friday, November 20, 2015

Special and Unique Places: The Bog

There are few places that offer a more unique glimpse into the natural world than a bog. It is a pocket of conditions as well as flora and fauna that are completely different than the surrounding locale. I am fortunate to have visited a local bog on a few occasions which is not only a protected botanical preserve but it has also been designated as National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service. This place, The Zurich Bog, is located in Arcadia, New York. It is off the beaten trail to be sure, but the trip is worth it to see such a place of unique beauty. 

The Zurich Bog preserve encompasses hiking trails through a bog forest and a peat bog. There is a floating bog, a mat of vegetation over a pond, but access onto the floating bog is generally not permitted nor entirely safe.

The pictures below are only a few of the species seen there.

If you are a gardener please take note, such special places are threatened by the harvesting of the peat moss for the gardening industry. Even this protected location is threatened by the draining of water in order to harvest peat that goes on outside of the preserve. If these places are special to you as well, please choose soil mixes without peat in them. Read more about why to use no peat here.

Here are photos from the Zurich Bog Preserve. Click on any of the images to see a larger view.

Grass Pink Orchid (Calopogon pulchellus)

Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Northern Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). Last image is the pitcher plant bloom.

White Fringed Orchid (Platanthera blephariglottis)

Spoonleaf Sundew (Drosera intermedia)

Goldthread (Coptis trifolia). Second photo also includes starflower (Trientalis borealis) and Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadense).

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)

Club Moss (Lycopodium sp.). Second picture also includes goldthread (Coptis trifolia), partridge berry (Mitchella repens), and hemlock (Tsuga sp.).

Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)

Starflower (Trientalis borealis)

Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)

Indian Cucumber (Medeola virginiana)

Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum)