|Wide view of the dew-covered Hawley Bog with pitcher plants, bog rosemary, and grass pink (or Calopogon) orchid visible.|
While attending the NECCC at UMass and doing some night photography, I was also able to sneak away for a morning of nature photography at Hawley Bog. Hawley Bog is a unique well-preserved New England bog complex, jointly owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy and the Five College Consortium. Bogs are one of my all-time favorite habitats; full of exotic plants and often a somewhat exotic northern-type avifauna. Plus, how cool is it to feel the ground shake beneath your feet like jello?
|A round-leaved sundew leaf emerges from the mat of Sphagnum moss. The glistening drops of fluid attract and trap insects which are then digested through enzymes.|
Acidic bogs are poor in nitrogen and other nutrients, thus you find many carnivorous species of plants which trap insects to provide necessary nutrients they can't extract from the soil. Hawley bog is host to round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea), and horned bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta), all carnivorous species.
|The flowers of purple pitcher plants rise above the surface of the bog like funky umbrellas. This flower playing host to a fly.|
|The flowers of horned bladderwort are quite striking in their own right. The leaves of this plant contain tiny bladders which trap very small invertebrates.|
|Grass pink orchids (Calopogon tuberosus) are perhaps my favorite species of orchid. Beautiful and associated with the fairly rare bog habitat.|
|Rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides) is another beautiful pink orchid commonly found in bogs and fens.|
|Rose pogonia (or snakemouth orchid) from the side.|
|Swamp candles add their bright flame to the wetland complex. Yellow loosestrife is the only local yellow-colored loosestrife species that doesn't have leaves obscuring the yellow flowers.|