Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beautiful, Peaceful Slush Pond - Part 1

My sister and I had hiked with the dogs up to The Pinnacle (see previous posts), but the day was still young. So we drove south on Route 30 to a narrow, unmarked road into the Adirondack forest which I happened to know would lead us to Slush Pond:

We parked the car, let the dogs out and began heading toward the floating peat bog. But on the way, we enjoyed the tiny treasures on the forest floor such as the various mosses, the British Soldier lichens, the Pixie Cup lichens and the Reindeer lichen:

Here's a close-up of a patch of Reindeer lichen. If you click to enlarge it, you can see a lot of detail:

The dogs were happy and enjoyed the mossy forest floor:

There were puffballs growing amidst the pine needles:

But we were headed out to see the floating peat bog and Clover led the way as we carefully walked out across its spongy surface:

Millions of ripe cranberries dotted the surface:

And I was more than happy to taste a few:

And there were plenty of red, carnivorous pitcher plants. They seemed to be partly beneath the sphagnum substrate, perhaps because the recent rains had raised the water level:

Pitcher plants are really quite lovely. Their flowers look like alien invaders, though I haven't seen one in years:

There were golden patches of sphagnum and red patches, which I've recently learned are different species. This red patch was further ornamented by scarlet cranberries, rather like gems on a crown:

The dogs led us out past the young tamaracks toward the edge of the bog:

This channel led to the rather large Slush Pond and the dogs had no fear of walking right up to the edge. But there was yet more to see and experience in this wild, lovely place and I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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