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Thread: Bog visit

  1. #1
    RL7836's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    New Jersey, USA
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    After many years on my "To do" list, I finally visited a S. purpurea purpurea site in PA that I last visited ~30 years ago (yikes - it's been a while!!). When I 1st visited this location, it was a floating sphagnum bog undergoing a successional process. Trees rimmed the bog and after a transitional area to the floating mat (very scary btw*), there was a rim of brush (3-8 ft tall) with a shagnum 'meadow' in the middle w/ mats of sphagnum, a very low-growing shrub layer and thousands of S. purpurea purpurea plants.

    My recent visit was an experience in attempting to navigate a virtually impenetrable tangle of brush. After successfully crossing the still-present transitional zone (and still very scary), I entered a zone of very thick brush, 4 ft ferns growing under the brush canopy and the occasional tree (some pines, some hardwoods, some dead snags of both). After crawling toward the 'meadow' area for over an hour, I realized it may not be present any longer. I located a pine and after managing to get to the lower branches (~ 9-10 ft up), I was able to survey the bog. The meadow area had completely disappeared and with it, apparently so did all of the S. purpurea purpurea - victims of the successional process.

    I spent between 2-3 hours and managed to cover less than 70 yards into this amazing tangle of swamp greenery. I did have chickadees come within 2 feet to check out what was making the racket in the brush. Given that this thicket was still on a floating mat and water was everywhere, there were a **few** mosquitos keeping me company.

    * - for those unfamiliar w/ floating sphagnum bogs. There is frequently a transitional area between the shore and the floating mat. This area can be 0 to 10 ft wide. The tricky part is the edge of the mat is often made up of a thin layer of living & dead plant debris that is not capable of supporting a person. There is really no way to test the layer due to the water gap. It's usually best to try and locate a bridge log that crosses the gap. However, even when it appears that you are on a substantial footing, it's not unusual for a foot to break through (and find no bottom). Probably not the best place for solo explorations .....
    All the best,
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  2. #2
    Hort. School dropout X 2
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    Mar 2006
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    Hey there Ron,
    I guess this was in NE PA.
    I grew up in NW PA and spent a lot of time in the woods. I never found a carnivrous plant. Although, one of the last times that I was back there,May 2003) I did find sphagnum moss growin in the old swamp where we used to catch tadpoles as children. Someone has put a drain pipe out of the swamp so it is not as full as it used to be.
    Jest thought I'd Share
    Every seed that you plant ,doesn't sprout.
    Every seed that sprouts, doesn't make it to maturity.
    Every cutting that you stick doesn't grow roots.
    Every cutting that roots doesn't grow to a small plant.
    Every small plant doesn't reach maturity.

    Who needs speelcheck?

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