While the boardwalk study shows what the bog proper looks like and how it changes through the seasons. The forest leading to the bog is a beautiful and diverse subject all its own. Blanketed with cinnamon ferns atop mounds of sphagnum, this soggy area deserves its own study.
The small fiddleheads are beginning to rise up from their sphagnum bases.
Freshly unfurled cinnamon ferns with their fertile leaves imitating cinnamon sticks. The canopy is filling in a bit more. Wild violets are blooming.
Full jungle mode - the ferns are full, the trees too, you can almost (in your mind) hear the sound of jaguars shouting.
Ferns have been trimmed back, the last of the fertile fronds are breaking off and falling over.
Mosquitoes are still buzzing about, take bug spray.
Leaves are just beginning to fall.
The ferns are turning their golden fall colors and the trees are not far behind. It's like walking through a golden sunset.
A tinge of green moss is all the color that is left in a newly monochromatic landscape. After all the wind and rain we've been getting, it's no surprise all the leaves have fallen and it's feeling close to winter.
The first snow of the season has settled in the woods, the forecast says a bigger snow is on its way. There is no breeze at all, no movement, just silence beyond the crunching of my boots in the snow.
Although the temperatures are in the single digits and the snow is deep, high up in the trees - flittering between one lichen covered branch to another - the golden crowned kinglets can be found! The quiet woods in the snow, the squeak of the tiny birds echo.
Mosses are brightening up as the temperatures have gone from freezing in early Feb, to the 40s in mid Feb. The ground, the boardwalk, and the bog are all still frozen, but soon we'll see the ferns peek out from the sphagnum.
Tiny signs of spring are everywhere! The mosses are bright green, tiny curled up ferns are beginning to emerge from the earth, trees are beginning to bud, and the birds are singing! It won't be long now!