Return To Bogs in 2018?

Open Pond at Allenberg Bog, photographed by Jeff Zablow in New York

Bogs? My first visit was to an acid bog near Ligonier, Pennsylvania about 23 years ago. Unforgettable, it was. Pitcher plants, sundew, while all the time enduring that unnerving feeling that you are about to sink down, never to be seen again, and find near eternal rest inches from another body, entombed in acidic sphagnum moss, some 2,000 years long gone. Louise Davies led that Wetland Study Group. A day impressed solidly in my mind.

This was Allenberg Bog in western New York State, 2016. It too is an acid bog, formed of unknown centuries of the deposition of sphagnum moss. So acidy, that species that cannot endure acid pH’s stay away, and the bog goes on, unchanged. This is where I met a flight of Bog Coppers. They were tiny, mostly cooperative, but near the end of their short flight period, and their wings had dulled as the days went on.

Planning now, I am, to visit Allenberg Bog once again, a bit earlier than I did in 2016. I wish to remeet those Bog Coppers, and see them in their full radiance. Rare fritillaries might also be seen, and even rarer bog orchids. Yummy.

Also in the planning is a trip with Angela and friends to Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, to see, among others, northern bog butterflies and botany. Jeffrey Glassberg’s Swift Guide shook out more than 20 butterflies that I might see for the first time on Bruce.

I’ve made new friends, and am again enlisting Dave’s friends to help me locate Atlantic White Cedar bogs. They just might introduce me to Hessel’s Hairstreak, a rare Southern cedar hairstreak, and one of extraordinary beauty.

Acid bogs beckon, and I promise, I will be cautious, even if I locate those Atlantic White Cedar bogs, where for sure I will be alone. Promise.


Pearly-eye’s Gold-Rimmed Spots

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Allenberg Bog in New York

Virginia reminded me that much of what I seek is focused and purposeful. This flies in the face of what most folks think I do. Many believe I work trails, looking for whatever comes along. I think this is incorrect.

Here in northeastern USA, when I scour a trail like this one, critical factors combine to anticipate goals. Goal this instant day and on this series of trails was to spot Northern Pearly-eye butterflies. This because the habitat was right: 1) trail along forest edge 2) wetland bordering trail, with wetland plants and 3) poorly lit forest margin.

So I was looking for Pearly-eyes and . . . I was hungry, hungry to score good to better images of the dorsal (upper side) of fresh fliers.’Good to better’ required, for these cordovan beauts, rich chocolate wing color, striking marginal spots and best of all, 14K to 18K gold ringing the sweet spots. Cherry on top would be orangeish tip on dark antennal clubs.

Certain TV commercials urge folks with good dollar$ to buy gold, and stash it in their safes, just in case . . . . Well, here is a forest-edge butterfly dripping ‘real’ gold.

If you thought that this image could/should have been closer to the Pearly-eye, know that any closer, and sweet stuff would have . . . . just that quickly.

At an ancient sphagnum acid bog in western New York state, along the edges of the bog.