Posted in Plants and trees

It’s a bit like terraforming

In science fiction, there's something called "terraforming" where people take an inhospitable, alien habitat and make it more earth-like so that people can live there. Well it turns out that sphagnum moss has mastered something similar -- I'm going to call it "boggaforming" -- where it takes a wetland and makes it more and more bog-like. One its secret weapons in this process is dead sphagnum moss. Here are some of the ways that previous generations of sphagnum moss contribute to the success of the Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, History, Nature, Park review

Cranberry Bog: The World’s Only Floating Island

Previously I've pointed out that Jackson Bog and Cedar Bog aren't really bogs. Now it's time to look at a nature preserve that really is the bog that it claims to be: Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve. However it's not like any other bog in the world since the entire bog is floating in the middle of a lake. Here's what happened. For thousands of years Cranberry Bog was an ordinary bog located in what came to be known as Big Swamp. In 1830 Ohio decided to build a dyke in Big Swamp Read more ➜
Posted in Nature, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Cedar Bog

Cedar Bog is a state nature preserve that's managed by the Ohio Historical Society due to its historical significance... or should I say prehistorical significance? There are a number of plants and animals in the preserve that were common in this region at the close of the last Ice Age, but which are now found in cooler, North American climates. Because it is such a unique habitat, in 1941 it was the first nature preserve designated by Ohio. Today it is one of Ohio's 25 National Natural Landmarks. The Read more ➜
Posted in Nature

Bogged down by wetland terminology

I decided to write this after visiting Jackson Bog State Nature Preserve and reading all the informative signs there... except they weren't all that informative for me because I didn't know my swamps from my bogs. So when I came home I decided to learn a few wetland basics. Let's start with the easy stuff. In North America a wetland that has trees growing in it is called a swamp. That's why Dawes Arboretum referred to the following grove of trees as "Cypress Swamp". A marsh Read more ➜