Monday, April 5, 2010

A Ramble Through a Fen

On Sunday, Dr. M and I visited a local wildlife area, correctly labeled a fen* (as opposed to the fen we went to last summer which was called a bog). There were some signs of life – and we plan to go back each month to see the changes. So you'll probably get to experience the changes too (lucky you!).

Here, we'll head down the boardwalk.

Look – cattails!

And pussy willows! Don't they look like sticks with caterpillars all over them?

Skunk cabbage

And the only splash of color (other than green): marsh marigolds

A "run" slowly flowing through the fen.

Here I am at the top of the observation platform

And Dr. M at the bottom.

Dr. M walking on one of the two sections of the trail that had been submerged.

And now we'll head back out.

A beautiful day!

*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. Thank goodness you defined "fen" at the end because I was going to have to ask....

    Great photos! I look forward to seeing how the flora and fauna change over the year..

  2. Thanks for the definition. I didn't know that. I only know the word from reading (mostly English novels) & from the usage i assumed it merely meant woodland. Didn't know water was involved.

    Beautiful pics. Looks like you had a lovely day.

  3. Thanks for the tour! Now I want you to say "fen slowly flowing" three times fast. Catches you up, doesn't it? Did you know that Gordon Lightfoot sings a song that opens with "Pussy willows, cat-ails, soft winds and roses,"? Lovely song. I'm looking forward to future forays in the fen!

  4. I had not heard of a fen before either and planned on looking it up. I took photos once of a pre-fall area and then when the leaves turned colors and it was fun to do that. Looking forward to seeing these again as it fills out.

  5. So how is a fen different from a swamp or marsh? Great pictures. Looks like it was a great day.

  6. That looks suspiciously like a park in my neck of the woods. ;)

    Nice shots.

  7. I learned something new and the day is just begining. Great pictures. I do hope you post updates as the seasons start to change.

  8. "Fen" is new to me. Super pics! What a beautiful day.

  9. I look forward to returning with you on future tours of the fen.

    May it never turn into a bog.

  10. I loved this little tour and I hope you post the photos of your future walks. You look so cute up there on the observation platform.

  11. I'm always learning over here :-) I'd never even heard of a fen before! Thank you for clearing up exactly what one is, because otherwise I'd have had to google it! LOL

    BEAUTIFUL photos! What a wonderful place and I think it's a great idea to go back every month to observe the changes. Make sure you share them with us!

  12. Gorgeous. I didn't know what a fen was. A couple years ago I walked one (I guess) over by Lake Michigan. I loved the boardwalk, the spring woodland flowers, the quiet, the birds. I wish I lived closer to watch it through the seasons, but I guess it wouldn't be that far, and it's worth it. Beeeautiful.

  13. What a fantastic walk! It looks like early early spring there.

    We're into the garish blast of spring here in DC.

  14. Love picture but I think the "run" one is my very fsvorite. The reflection in the water and the frmaing are really nice.

  15. Dear The Bug,
    When I lived in RiverTown we used to go to the swamp. I love places like this!

    Also, I too am glad to know the difference between a bog and a fen.

    Ann T.

  16. we live near a fen : )

    excellent shots!

  17. Beautiful photography once again.
    I didn't know about 'fens'
    Would I be able to tell the difference just by looking?

  18. I kept thinking, all the while I was reading this post, "What's the difference between a fen and a bog?
    " When, all of a sudden, lo and behold, there it was ... a definition. Aha!

    I also kept thinking, "Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes!" :(


Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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