I spent last week up in northern Wisconsin and had a chance to do a barefoot bogwalk again.
This time I brought my son and a video camera.
That was the third time this year I’d headed out into the bog. You can see the photos from my previous trips in The Beauty of the Bog and A Treat for the Senses. It was rather fun to see the changes as the seasons have changed.
As before, I just can’t imagine somebody trying to do this wearing shoes. The bog itself is a diverse collection of peat moss and other plants at differing heights. Sometimes you’re walking in 6 inches of water, and sometimes you’re a foot above it.
I can maybe see walking through it in sandals, but then you would miss the wonderful textures of the moss. And it’s not as if feet need any protection walking on the stuff. (Actually, you’re in more danger of scratching your arms on the scraggly black spruce than from stepping on anything.)
Let me explain the video. It starts out with me hiking through the woods on the way to the bog. The bog itself is in the Nicolet Forest. At this hiking part we’re hiking right on the border of the Forest.
Then we see my son shortly we’ve left dry land. However, the beginning of the bog is quite shallow, which still allows various trees (although stunted) and other bushes to grow. It gets pretty hard to pick a path through this area since it is all pretty much undergrowth of some sort or another. The peat moss is mounded up—it looks like there are wildlife trails through it.
About halfway through we leave the hardwood area and reach open bog. This is almost exclusively peat moss with various other small bog plants mixed in. It’s flatter, but there are still various wildlife trails. In one of my previous posts a commenter expressed concerns about any damage we might be doing to the bog by walking in it. I guess that really doesn’t concern me (after all, I went back). In what way is the bare foot of the human animal different from the bare feet of all the other animals that traverse the bog?
One thing that interested me was seeing the purple pitcher plant flower over the summer. I first saw it in the spring (June), after it had come up but before it opened. Here that is.
Then in late July it had opened up and bloomed. Here that is.
Finally, from the video, we see the flower after it had dried up and had seeds in it. Here’s the screenshot for that.
Of course, being late in the season, all the trees were changing colors. Let me finish with the leaf from one particular maple (back on dry land) that had a particularly striking pattern.