I felt drawn back to the Algerine Swamp Natural Area again today. On the surface, it is a uniform environment, so I made sure to bring a compass; especially since my intention was to travel deeper into the heart of the bog than I had the past several visits. Not only did I bring my cell phone which has a compass app; I also brought a makeshift compass consisting of a small plastic Tupperware bowl, cork, and magnetized paperclip just in case my phone battery would die while in the thick of the bog. It's good to have a contingency plan when entering some of the more wild of wild spaces. This is one of them. In addition, I made sure to tell Erin where I was going before I left home.
Here is a photo taken from the thick of the boreal bog today as well as my personal reflection of my time spent with my wild neighbors in that special place:
Uniform boreal diversity,
Balsam fir, black spruce, hemlock and pine stand tall and straight; root balls raised just above the waterline, like frogger I hop from one to the next; progress is slow in the bog.
Sphagnum and pitcher plant recline against clear shallow water, except for the deep spot that swallowed my boot!
It's okay, I got it back. One foot wet the other still dry. I am one with the bog. I am one with the bog, I tell myself.
Uniformly thick boreal diversity; my line of sight takes me only fifty paces onward from every present point of view.
Compass required. Pointing a finger to guess which direction is west. Guess what, that's north! Re-orienting my steps again! A makeshift compass, I have brought, in case the cell phone battery dies.
No cell service, but the compass works. Good.
In the thick of the eastern side of the bog, I've found a good leaning balsam with which to rest for a while. A gift to my ear are the songs of my avian neighbors winter wren, brown creeper and golden-crowned kinglet. I was surprised to be greeted by an extraordinarily inquisitive black-capped chickadee within arm's reach; she seems perplexed to see that I've pushed this far into the thick of the bog, rightly so.
The uniform diversity of this boreal bog evokes a sense of comfort and community as well as a sense of adventure on this day.