Monday, September 1, 2008

Bog Walking

On Labor Day my family and I visited three bogs which are close by here in northeast Ohio. The bogs were created when pieces of glaciers broke off as the ice sheets retreated northward 12,000 years ago. Kettle lakes formed from the melting mammoth ice chunks and set in motion all of the conditions necessary to create a bog. Bogs are very acidic due to the large quantities of sphagnum moss which grow in the cool, moist bog environment.

The paths led us through thick vegetation.

We saw lots of beautiful flowers.

And vegetation.

And a few critters.

The scenery was beautiful.

Cranberries grew in two of the bogs.

Arrowroot plants grew among the cranberries. If you click on the picture (or any of them) you'll see it close-up (at least on my computer that's the case):

Here is something interesting, the bogs are the sole places to find the only carnivorous plants that grow in Ohio:

I don't know what this one is called, but it's not very big - those round-ish parts with the sticky, bug-trapping hairs are only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter:

And there were pitcher plants there too. They fill with water. Bugs get trapped in the water and can't get out because of the fine hairs on the plant which all point back down toward the water. The bugs decompose in the water and the plant absorbs the nutrients:

Here are some pitcher plants nestled with some sphagnum moss and other greenery:

Another shot with pitcher plants, sphagnum moss, and other bog plants:

There were signs of beavers at one of the bogs:

When we were finished searching for the last of the blueberries along the path at our final bog, we walked a mossy carpet back to where we had parked the car.

Some of the things we saw today are at the southernmost reach of their habitat and are not found elsewhere in Ohio. The unique environment has preserved a special little world of plants and animals. We had lots of fun visiting those worlds today.


Q said...

These bogs are incredible. The bio-diversity is amazing. I love the all the bogs plants and critters. I will go back and study your pictures as I am not cloose by to any bogs. The photo of the spreadwing Damselfly is lovely. They are charming bugs!
Thank you for sharing this remarkable hike.

ICQB said...


Thanks for identifying the damselfly. I'll tell my son - he took several pictures of it, but the one I posted caught it just perfectly. It didn't mind posing!

We had two cameras and four people so we were forever calling out, "I need the camera!"

It was a fun day.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Talk about a Wonder of the World! Bogs are so interesting!

When I was a little girl, my dad did some research in a peat bog. He came home with this hundreds of thousands of years old cedar root. My mom and dad worked on cleaning it up for days and days, and then for the rest of my childhood they set it on a little table in our entryway. Strange, but true. I loved that thing and thought everyone's parents collected old roots.

Well that was a long comment.
Sorry, I got caught up in the memory!

Thank you so much for adding to the happiness of my day with your good wishes!

ICQB said...

Hi Rebecca!

I'm glad I could help rekindle a memory.

I can relate to thinking everyone collects roots - in our case it was the skeleton of an ocotillo cactus. They're really unique. We found a big one in the desert and drove halfway across the country with it tied on the top of our car.

Lots of fun!

Thanks for visiting, Rebecca!