Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Ramble Through a Fen, Take 2

Last April Dr. M & I visited a local fen* & vowed that we would go back every month to see all the changes each season brings. Well, yesterday we finally returned. I guess we missed out on the every month thing, didn't we? Yesterday was sunny and sort of approaching warmth, but once we got on the trail it was really breezy & I discovered that 43 degrees in the shade feels very different that 43 degrees in the sun. But it was nice to do a little bit of outdoor walking. Would you like to join us?

The entrance looks very inviting, doesn't it?

As we approached the walk I decided to read the signs.

Hmm - this seems somewhat ominous. But we press on.

OK, yes, there is some flooding. But it only went over the top of my boots, so we decided to persevere.

 And quickly saw evidence of the beavers' handiwork.

Ah, here is where we believe the culprits live!

But I found the watery milieu beautiful in its on way.

But then we encountered an obstacle that could have perhaps been overcome by hip waders (or excellent balance on slippery boards).

So we turned back and paid attention to the ice that was still a thin layer on the water. Dr. M said it felt like being inside a chilled margarita glass. Hmm - I wonder how he knows what the inside of a margarita glass feels like?

As we left we decided that this year we really will go back again every month. Really! So keep your eye out for a March post.

*Fen: n. A fen is a type of wetland fed by surface water, or groundwater, or both. Fens are characterised by their water chemistry, which is neutral or alkaline. Fens are different from bogs, which are acidic, fed primarily by rainwater (ombrotrophic) and often dominated by Sphagnum mosses.[1] [From Wikipedia]


  1. Wow! You and Dr. M are intrepid explorers indeed.

    I've been saying this all month - "43 degrees in the shade feels very different that 43 degrees in the sun." It's unbelievable how much difference a little sunshine makes.

  2. Well you both are very adventurous. Glad you explained what a fen is. Warmer days are not too far away. I hope.....

  3. A Fen! New term for me! Interesting place... bet it is filled with birdies soon! Looking forward to your return there.

  4. Heaven! I adore places like that. We have one quite near to us, though without the beavers unfortunately. You conveyed and showed it all beautifully. Full marks and many many thanks.

  5. The sky was SO blue Saturday, wasn't it? I had forgotten how blue. We were out and about in it, as well, and it felt SO good.

  6. Fantastic pix Bug! Must have been an enjoyable day.

  7. Gorgeous pictures (inclusive yours in a blue hoodie)!
    And..I've learnt a new word and concept - Fen. Thanks.

  8. Your blog is so lively. I guess that means that you are lively and open and expressive. It feels good here. (I would love to see a beaver at work, living here in Oregon--The Beaver State--and all.....)

  9. Thank you for sharing this wonderful fen with me! Now that I've seen yours, I know there are many fens about. No one seems to call them that. It's bogs, wetlands, everglades, swamps and that sloshy spot over yonder.

  10. LOL @ MuseSwings: "that sloshy spot over yonder." If it has relatively clean-looking, non-acidic water running through it, as opposed to relying entirely on groundwater and rainwater like a bog, quagmire, or mudhole, then it might just be a fen. In this case, the fen has been bogged down by the beavers :-)


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