We got to visit a bog and a very large vernal pool. Bogs differ from the vernal pools and ponds because they do not have an external water source. It's a closed system which is only fed by rainfall (and run off from rainfall). Very little evaporation occurs and only a tiny bit leaches out. The bottom of a bog is made of bedrock not soil and the vegetation that grows there (sphagnum moss) produces so much acid that the pH of a bog is very low- this one measured around 4 in the center. So, nothing really decomposes in a bog. It's really a very interesting part of the landscape. We were excited to learn some things about both.
|We arrived at the visitor's center and found all sorts of critters. Look at all these tadpoles!|
|The vernal pool- we netted all sorts of things, caught a snake, and saw a dead coyote. They are going to let him finish decomposing and then take the bones back to the visitor center. Yuck!|
|R10 is holding a Christmas fern and a trout lily leaf from the edges of the vernal pool.|
|Love the trillium which was in bloom all along the trail.|
|This flower remains unidentified. Despite knowing there would be a naturalist with us, I brought a few field guides and sadly our Golden Guide on wildflowers did not show us this one. When we find it, we'll report on it. Do you all know what it is?|
|A beaver lodge! J5 spotted it as we approached the water. Judging by the trees all around, there are some very active beavers here!|
|The bog sphagnum moss- you can walk on the mat and the kids go to try! This is a very unique ecosystem which was created as the glaciers retreated. This area of NY is about the furthest south you'll find a bog.|
|Trout Lily flower- these cute little plants only flower once every few years.|
The weather finally seems to be breaking into something that makes us all smile. In the forecast there is no precipitation until later in the week! We've had more than 19 days straight of rain here so this is really big news. The kids are anxious to do some more exploring. R10 had brought sketching materials, but there was no time. I bet she'll do some sketching from the pictures we took.