The musings of Carnivorous Plant addicts!
Today me and my family went to the open house (free roaming under DNR Ranger watch) at Pinhook Bog, Indiana. It was a small parking lot in the middle of nowhere and you could barely see it passing by. This was our second time going there so i was prepared with tape measure, 2 cameras, 2 log books, and my own bare hands! First, at the entrance to the trail a Ranger told us about how it formed. He also said that a blueberry farm used the bog till it was bought by the National Park Service and the blueberries are still there. After his speech, we headed down the poison ivy covered trail.
We went down the winding trail down the hill. We went through a a mangled gate to the bog. It is very cool, there is a plastic pontoon boardwalk with all this sphagnum moss bunching up and over the sides about a foot high. When you walk the only thing supporting you is the the moss and water so the moss makes little waves like when you throw a rock into the water. The first thing you see on the board walk are pond plants then you start seeing orchids. You keep walking and a minute or not even you come across the first pitcher plants. These ones at the beginning are under the blueberry bushes so the are all green and spindly. They didn't have as many divisions too. Then you go down straight on the boardwalk. There is a hole in the bog where there is no tamarack or blueberry bush filtering the light. Here you would start to see HUGE pitcher plants sometimes over a foot! There were also many sundews here. An older couple were asking what stuff was. My dad said I knew it and I showed of my smarts and showed where the plants were and what they're called. When I went to look at a colony of sundews I notice that one of them had actually caught a fly and it was still struggling. There was also big pool of water in the area so there was A LOT of bladderworts.
We then met a very nice Ranger named, Zach that told us a little more about the bog and what the poison sumac looked like. We followed the way down with orchids, pitcher plants and sundews at our sides to the end of the board walk. Then I asked him about the possibility of a different species of bladderwort because the last time I was there I saw it and ID-ed a couple Horned Bladderwort about 10 feet away and it wasn't on the species list at Pinhook Bog. So I did some more research to hopefully prove my case. At first he looked through his binoculars and said I found the Yellow-Fringed orchid and that he has never seen them before. Then he said alright, I'll look in my book to see if it's in there. It was there and he was wrong so congratulated me on finding another species! That was one of the happiest times in my life. He then said he could try to hook me up with a botanist and come back! He eventually headed back down the trail, I took some more pictures too, but some poison sumac touched my head and my arm in the process of a good picture. We had to leave early cause my brother and mom were hungry and I was 2:40 and I wasn't hungry till dinner. We went up the winding trail and to the end of my adventure.