Visit to Orono Bog

Stunted Tamarack Trees with their silvery-blue foliage add to the ethereal beauty of the bog.

Stunted Tamarack Trees with their silvery-blue foliage add to the ethereal beauty of the bog.

I hadn’t visited a bog since I was a girl at summer camp in Waterboro, Maine, so I was eagerly anticipating this experience.  That bog of my campgirl days was a spongy walk across a wilderness filled with strange carnivorous plants and stinging insects (it must have been June, black fly season).  I remember sinking through the fragile surface and getting my shoes wet.  The Orono Bog, part of Bangor City Forest, was a planned stop on the way to Grand Manan, a diversion so we could rest and get in some birding.

The fog enhanced each strand of the Orb Weaver's endeavor.

The fog enhanced each strand of the Orb Weaver’s endeavor.

The bog was made accessible to the public through volunteer labor.  They constructed a floating boardwalk, a mile long and accessible to those using wheelchairs, so the fragile surface would be protected.   The bog was formed as the glaciers melted and the sea retreated, leaving behind a highly acidic lake.  As the lake dried, the environment favored the growth of spaghnum (or peat) moss.  The acidic soil stunts tree growth and supports plants such as Pitcher Plants, Sundew, Bog Cranberry, Cotton Plant and the like.  The boardwalk has frequent informative signs and many benches where walkers can relax and enjoy the views.

The Pitcher Plants display a riot of fall color.

The Pitcher Plants display a riot of fall color.

We didn’t have a very large bird list on the bog itself and there were very few insects.  There were flocks of cedar waxwings, some robins and a few other species but there was a soft mist over all that gave the experience an other-worldly feeling.  The pagan tribes of early Europe feared bogs (hence the name Bogeyman) and gave human sacrifices to protect themselves.  I could almost understand this as I walked, but to me it was more magical than frightening.

The little white tufts of the Cotton Plants dotted the landscape.

The little white tufts of the Cotton Plants dotted the landscape.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mary said,

    It must be a beautiful place and does look magical. Your photos are lovely.

    Like

  2. 3

    jmgoyder said,

    Like a fairy land

    Like


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