Logo Visits to a Mountain Bog - March & April 2017
Chattahoochee National Forest, Rabun Co., GA
All Text & Images:
Copyright (2017)


Before visiting this bog, I stopped by the Betty's Creek - Hambidge Natural Area:


Springhouse

This poor old stone springhouse is leaning about 15 degrees out of vertical.


Springhouse



Springhouse




Reaching the bog required a good climb along old logging roads and barely recognizable trails.
A number of early spring ephemerals were just starting to bloom:


Spring_beauties
Spring Beauties   (Claytonia virginica)


Trillium_grandiflorum
Trillium grandiflorum - only a few had begun to bloom.


Hepatica
Hepatica   (Hepatica nobilis)


Bloodroot
Bloodroot   (Sanguinaria canadensis)


Bloodroot
Bloodroots were by far the most numerous blooms encountered on the way to the bog.


Spicebush
Spicebush flowers   (Lindera benzoin)


Cliffs
Rocky cliffs as one approaches the mountain gap before descending to the bogs.


Spring
One of the springs that feeds the bog area
Sorry for the horrible lighting; I had hoped for a cloudy day but it cleared and I had to deal with harsh sun & shadows.




I made a disappointing discovery at the mountain bog:

Rooted_bog
Wild hog destruction (insert expletive here!)
Uprooted rare plants, including old basal rosettes from last year and newly sprouting rhizomes are visible.
There were scattered tape-flags, which I assume had marked the location of some of the plants



Trampled_bog
This was formerly a nice open peat-moss covered spot.   The deep hog rooting
is not quite as evident here in the peat-moss as in other adjacent spots, but the
trampling is obvious.   At least 4 remnants of tape-flags are visible in this image.



Bog
This large area of open bog was relatively unscathed...
It was too early for any interesting bog flowers.

Note:   I alerted the USFS to the hog damage, and from what I understand,
action was taken to further protect the more sensitive areas of the bog.




Addendum:

I had planned to return in late April to (hopefully) see Swamp Pink in bloom.
Other explorations got in the way and I forgot about it until early May.


Swamp_Pink
After climbing to the bog, I saw that the flower had already gone to seed.
In a given year, only about 15% of these plants will bloom, but only one plant sent up a stalk this year.



Swamp_Pink
Spent flower head of Swamp Pink (Helonias bullata)



Mtn Bog Index Natural Environments
Hiawassee Index NE GA - NC Index