Day By Day

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pennsylvania Pictures -- Mountain Boggery

We spent the past few days over in and around Ligonier, a resort town not far from Pittsburgh. Most people who come to the area spend their time fishing or golfing or skiing [in season], or visiting nearby historical sites like Fallingwater or Fort Ligonier or the Flight 93 crash site; some of the rich and powerful are simply looking for a retreat where the press cannot follow. "She Who Must Not Be Named" headed for the golf course while I took off for the top of Laurel Mountain for a bit of innocent boggery.

Here's where I was hanging out -- the Spruce Flats Bog [read about it here]. Here's a bit of what I saw.

Indian pipeweed.

These are carnivorous sundew plants, they lure, trap and digest insects with those sticky drops they secrete.

More carnivorous plants -- pitcher plants this time.

Pitch pine.

Rhododendrons -- down east they stopped blooming a month ago, but here in the Laurel Highlands spring is still in the air.

Cotton grass. You have to get up real close to see it's intricate structure, but getting close to some of these plants involves slogging through mud up to your ankles.

And the moisture near the bog encourages a wonderful variety of fungus. It's ubiquitous.

Eventually we had to return to the valley. My cousin, who led our little party, said that he returns often to the bog and every time sees something different. I know I'll be back. Wonder what I'll see then.