L is for Lady Slipper
Note: This post was originally posted on May 21, 2005 titled Blogging the Bogging.
I couldn't resist repeating it for the L entry in the ABC Along. Hope you don't mind.
A beautiful sunny day in May, the perfect time to go admire the orchids in the bog. Luanne and I met at the Westnedge Street entrance.
Bishop's Bog is the largest (145 acres) relic bog in southern Michigan. Since it's in the City of Portage, the Portage Parks Department has provided a 1.75 mile walkway through the bog. I'm glad I don't pay taxes in Portage, but kindly thank those who do.
The walkway is great. It's made of hollow plastic and is somehow suspended on top of the water. When we walked on it, water shoot up through the holes in the plastic in spurts sometimes as high as our heads. We tried to reduce the squirt effect by not walking together. I'm sure it helped a little.
There was slippery mud on part of the walkway. We went slow and careful so as not to end up on our butts - or even worse, on our butts in the water.
Eventually the water with depth turns into very spongy soil, mostly covered with moss. I don't think it was walkable. We didn't try.
About a half mile into the bog is the Pink Lady Slipper Orchid patch, what we came to see. And we weren't disappointed. We spotted dozens of the beauties, and some were close enough to the walkway so we could see every detail.
We also spotted a few Pitcher Plants, but they were not in bloom. The Pitcher Plants have leaves shaped like a pitcher and they hold water. Insects crawl into the pitcher leaves, get caught by the tiny hairs inside, fall into the water and the plant digests them.
Many of the orchids were still in bud stage, not fully bloomed. I thought the pre-bloom was just as pretty as the full bloom.
There is more information, a beautiful orchid picture, and detailed instructions on how to find Bishop's Bog here.