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Hawley Bog. January 26, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Up in Hawley, Massachusetts sits Cranberry Bog, A.k.A. Hawley Bog, which is the highest elevation acid bog in the State.  It’s an expanse of floating mats of sphagnum peat, harboring large communities of leatherleaf, bog cranberries, laurels and azaleas, as well as some less common species of plants and trees.

I got up there today in poor weather and worse light, just in time for the beginning of the snow:

…which is expected to turn to sleet, then rain, later today.  It didn’t make for great pictures, though the abundant towering spruce snags standing ghostly guard over the pall were impressive:

While this light isn’t conducive to landscape photography, it’s sometimes good for capturing details, rendering them in richly saturated hues.  Such was the case with these Northern Pitcher plants, Sarracenia purpurea,  which love to grow in the sphagnum moss:

They aren’t well served by this year’s thin snow pack; time will tell how they do going forward.

All of these were taken with Ollie, my 24-105mm L-Series zoom, on the box.  I really didn’t want to change lenses in these conditions.



1. susan - January 27, 2012

Your shots of ‘details’ are still some of my most favorite. I seemed to see little yellow flowers or is that part of the moss?

2. littlebangtheory - January 27, 2012

Hi susan. I too love the details, though this time of year makes sharing them difficult, especially if I don’t go into the field specifically set up for macro work (though Ollie is often referred to as a macro-zoom; at 105mm with a minimum focusing distance of about a foot, there’s some detail to be had!)

The yellow is indeed part of the moss, which makes the journey from lime green in the spring through darker greens and yellows in summer, arriving at a rich rust red when the first freeze comes and maintaining that throughout the winter, in as much as it’s visible.

The pitchers are likewise bright green when they arise in the spring and develop red veins as they mature toward their blood-red glory. Between their form and their color, they’re the nearest thing the plant kingdom has shown me to flesh and blood and elements of the human form.

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