Gowing’s swamp

Gowing’s swamp is a quaking bog in Concord, Massachusetts. It’s a bog with history – it’s been studied since colonial times and visited by Thoreau, who wrote about it. Here are a few images from the edge of the bog:

I made two visits, and both times was distracted by flowers and insects at the edge of the wetland. I walked around the edge without getting to the mosses and other plants at the heart of the quaking bog. The first time I found the pretty flower with the fanciful name Clasping-leaved Venus’ looking glass (Triodanis perfoliate). I went back a week later to get a better image, but there were no blooms left. I’ve have to go back next year. Or maybe sooner, after I get waders, to find some unusual bog plants.

7 thoughts on “Gowing’s swamp

  1. Does the bog have a boardwalk, or do people just wade out there? Don’t become a bog man! A friend of mine takes her husband along when she’s outs sedging in wetlands. They tie a rope around her waist and he pulls her out if she runs into trouble. (The are 80!) She carries a stick with a ballon tied to it. If something bites the balloon, she backs out of there.
    I expected to recognize the plants you’d show, but loosestrife and the Venus’ looking glass are new to me.

    • I haven’t seen a boardwalk that goes in this bog. I think I’ll write one of the conservation groups that manage it, and ask for information. I won’t go wading there without knowing more – if I do at all.
      It was fun finding the Venus looking glass.

  2. It’s amazing how quickly flowers can disappear. I’ve learned not to assume I can go back in a week and try for better photos; even a few days can be too long. I had hoped to get some better photos of the Venus’ looking glass, but in that case there were three weeks between visits, and there wasn’t a sign of them anywhere.

    The loosestrife is lovely. We have a couple of native species; just last weekend I found winged loosestrife (Lythrum alatum), which is a nice, light lavender.

    I’ve never thought about actually disappearing into a bog. I need to do more research before I go trucking off into certain parts of east Texas, where I’ve seen the word “bog” used in descriptions of the area. Our bog may not be quite so — interesting — but I don’t know, and I need to!

  3. Going to Gowing’s Swamp paid off.

    I just checked the distribution of Triodanis perfoliata and found that Nevada is the only one of the lower 48 states in which it hasn’t been reported. We have it in Austin.

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