Skip to main content

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group, a place where everyone is welcome to note the observations you have made of the natural world around you. Fledglings, insects, blossoms, fish, climate, reptiles and/or amphibians: all are worthy additions to the bucket. Ask questions if you have them and someone here may well have an answer. All we ask is that you let us know where you're located, as close as you're comfortable revealing.
Gooseville, WI

Leafless trees allow the bog to suck the sky into its mirror of sogginess between mossy island hummocks. The broody dark depths of the bog in summer will have to wait until the freshness of spring unfolds from a long winter sleep.

Spruce Lake Bog
Spruce Lake Bog National Natural Landmark

The bog possesses relict flora and fauna from early post-glacial times dragged south from more northern reaches. I tread lightly along the boardwalk leading down into the bog.

Pitcher Plants

This bog nurtures Wisconsin's largest and showiest carnivorous plant. The leaves can be a foot long and form a crowded cluster of flaring purple hoods eager to digest the unwary or curious.

purple pitcher plant closeup
Purple Pitcher Plant Sarracenia purpurea
The emerging green and wine-red speckled spathe of the skunk cabbage curls protectively around its yellow flowering spadix. These flowers have no petals, but the profuse stink draws willing pollinators. I've stuck my nose into a spadix to smell the flower, I'll politely decline this time, but I recommend the experience.
Skunk Cabbage and spathe
skunk cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus
The fiddlehead ferns stand tender in pale silky cocoons waiting to unfurl into broad deep green fronds. These are the first I find, too young to identify.  
Fresh Fiddleheads
Marshmarigold buds

The sunshine smiles of marsh marigold buds and blooms are the earliest to brighten bogs and wetlands. They're a bit late this year.

Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris
Spagnum and spruce seeding
Black Spruce seedling Picea mariana

A soft pillow of sphagnum moss nurses a black spruce seedling toward the sunlight. A replacement to follow those that mature and return to earth with a crash.

Broardwalk and Black Spruce
Tight spirals of new spring needles unwind on this deciduous conifer. In autumn, tamaracks shed their old needles in a bright bronze shower, becoming naked for winter.  
Tamarack needles
Tamarack Larix laricina
Alder Catkins

Male catkins hang like ruby jewels on a chain, while the small female aments cling tightly to the branch. Alder shrubs are one of the earliest blooming flowers of the spring.

Alder leafing
Speckled (Tag) Alder Alnus incana
May 5, 2013. 1st spring hike into the bog.


Your turn. What's happening in your neck of the woods or backyard? Spring has sprung with a muted eloquence this year.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site