Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Willoughby Bog Hike

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On July 30, Catgirl, Ironman, Wingnut and I hiked the Willoughby Bog in the Westmore Town Forest. It is part of the Willoughby State Forest. This is the only photograph I have of Wingnut on this hike! He kept disappearing or walking far ahead of us. I finally, here near the end of the hike, ordered him to stop and pose with the little kids. And what a contrast of ages and heights! Wingnut was terrific with the little kids this summer.

This hike is full of bridges, log walks and stepping stones to cross brooks and wetlands. The kids loved all these, as you can see below. Little four-year-old Ironman carried our snacks and supplies for more than one mile! After that, Wingnut carried them for the little guy.

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In the photograph above, you see the beginning of the actual bog walk. This is the shortest and most interesting part of the hike. The bog here was full of blueberries and pitcher plants. Below are the many plants that we saw and photographed.

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Above, the blue fruit of the bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)

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Above, a bracket fungus called a hoof tinder fungus (Fomes fomentarius) because it looks like a giant horse hoof. This one is three years old because there are three layers (cracks). One layer grows each year.

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Above, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

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Above: A purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea).. I didn't even know how important this plant was until John saw the photo the next day and got excited about it. He and I returned to the bog the next day so that he could see them. He taught me a lot about this rare plant.

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Above: Shining Firmoss (Huperzia lucidula). John and I spent this evening identifying, and re-identifying plants. This plant, which I called a clubmoss, created quite a debate. Technically it is not a clubmoss but is often called a clubmoss.

There are signs all over the trails. We took the Back Loop Trail that made this hike just over two miles long — quite long enough for such little folk as Catgirl and Ironman. You can't get lost with the good signposts! There was also a great informational signboard towards the beginning of the trail. All of the guides and maps on the board were available at the Westmore Town Clerk. I never have picked up copies, though. I should.

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The Willoughby Bog is dedicated to Erland C. Gjessing and a plaque stands at the beginning of the bog walk in his honor:

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At the end of the hike, we saw a wonderful view of Wheeler Mountain from the trail. After the hike, we drove all the way down to Lyndonville and had lunch at MacDonald's! The kids all thought that was fantastic (there are no fast food places closer than twenty miles from the house, so we never go unless we go into town). We also went to Green Mountain Books in Lyndonville and got some great guide books, novels and activity books for the summer. It was a great day!

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Wheeler Mountain


1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had a really super time. It must be great to see all those different kinds of plants.


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