Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm : the bog side 7/2014

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Carol, my wife, and my youngest daughter, Kelia, on the bog boardwalk.

I have been visiting Laudholm Farm for the better part of 20 years, and until this month I did not know there was a bog on the property. How can that be? My wife and daughter first explored the loop of trails that includes the bog earlier this month, and I have been back twice to explore it myself since. From the age of the various sections of boardwalk on the trails this is not a new loop…just a neglected one as far as I am concerned. Besides the bog, the trails encompass the lower fields and meadows of the farm, sections of ferny forest, and an overlook on the marsh well south of the Little River.

You begin with a walk through a shaded aisle in a damp hardwood forest.

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Are there fairy rides in Maine. This certainly looks like one. Sony Alpha NEX 5T with ZEISS Touit 12mm f2.8.

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Wild Iris along a small section of boardwalk in the fairy forest.

At the end of the Fairy Ride you make a sharp then and where onto the boardwalk across what I can only call a mini-bog. The whole thing is the size of a housing development from lawn, but is a true bog, complete with Sundew and at least two bog orchids.

Grass Pink

Pink Pagonia

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Round-leaved Sundew. Sony Alpha NEX 5T with ZEISS Touit 50mm macro

Sundew is of course a carnivorous plant. Insects get caught in the sticky hairs on the keaves leaves, the leaves partially close to catch them, and then acids in the plant’s sap dissolve the insect to provide nutrients. Round-leaved Sundew is one of the smallest Sundews.

Past the bog you quickly enter a stretch of forest and then the lower reaches of the meadows at Laudholm. On a good day this can be a great place for both birds and butterflies.

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Damp mixed forest

Where the trail turns sharply to the left there is a side trail leading out to the Marsh overlook.

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The marsh at he Southern edge of the Wells Reserve.

Eventually the trail comes out across from the boardwalk trail on the main trail down to the beach. It is easy to follow the boardwalk around to the meadows at the North-east edge of the reserve bordering the Little River. You never know what you will find. This Red-spotted Purple surprised us in the deep woods.

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Red-spotted Purple is one form of the Butterfly more commonly known as the White Admiral


I am certainly not done exploring the lower loop of trails at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm. I am certain there is more to see.