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Hi all

Since Ireland is a country well known for its bogs, Northern Ireland is certainly no exception. There are many bogs around where I live, but most have been cut for peat in small scale (only one or two areas is there commercial harvesting). However, there is a small series of National Nature Reserves clumped together about 10 miles from where I live, and it is collectively called 'Peatlands Park'. This consists of

a) Northern Ireland's best preserved raised bog

b) Some of the finest birch and willow (and other trees) forests.

c) A large lake with thick reedbeds, providing a good place to go birding.

d) A very nice and well kept visitor park for campers, family-day-outs, walkers, school trips, and the eccentrics like myself who like to view the park's wildlife.

On the bog, Peatlands has very many species of flora and fauna. It has the largest list of Moths and Butterflies in NI, and all other insect, bird, and plant life is particularly diverse in the area.

CPs do very well here; I have counted 7 species, and there could be one or two more. Nowhere else in NI has as many CP species.

First of all there is Sarracenia purpurea. This is one of the sites that was populated with Canadian stock years and years ago. The plants had spread all over the bog, but just about a decade ago, there was a massive cleanup of them. Now the purps only survive in one part of the bog (with a boardwalk) and all flowers are snipped off to stop seeding (I was, however, allowed to keep intact and pollinate some flowers for seed, for my own collection).

The clumps of purpurea can be huge, 3 or 4 feet is the biggest I've seen:

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There are also a few different forms to be seen.

Normally veined

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?Semi-veinless

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And is this veinless?

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Seedlings are rare, as the flowers are snipped.

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These mats of Sphagnum are normally covered with D. rotundifolia. Again, it is very hard to find the hibernaculae. I did try, but not much luck.

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However, if one roots around in the bare peat, one can find D. anglica hibernaculae.

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The old flower stalks make them stick out and easy to see.

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The Bog Myrtle is about to come into catkin. I love the smell of this plant.

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I moved on, to another part of the bog. Some of the bog has been covered up by birch trees, which isn't very good.

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To get to the next part, I had to swim a mighty river:

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and navigate a dark, scary forest:

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And traverse hundreds of miles of thorny scrub:

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But, eventually I got there.

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I started searching around on the ground. D. intermedia isn't as easy to find as it seems at first. I did find an old bit of lizard skin.

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But yes, I did indeed find. D intermedia, just waking up after the winter sleep.

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I even found the elusive D rotundifolia, albeit a small one.

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Now what do these look like?

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The look like Nepenthes seeds, right?

Actually, they are seeds of the bog asphodel, a very pretty yellow flower that comes out in August.

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I love the huge clumps of Staghorn lichen. It brightens up the bog this time of year.

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One last surprise of the day; a beautiful, newly emerged male Emperor moth. Perfect.

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So, with that I returned home happy and content.

I hope you enjoyed it too.

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Very Cool James!!! So there are no plans to extract those "Alien" Purps out of the Irish Bogs??

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Hi James,

Thanks for sharing these photos. Peatlands is a very nice area.

I'm glad you survived the mighty river for showing us your pics and story.

A bit the same view as the European mainland bogs ( only The Flemish bogs are much smaller and

we don't have S.purpurea and D.anglica. ) Also the berch forests are a big problem here in many bogs.

Here in Antwerp they remove most of the trees every 3-4 years. They turf also many parts to make place for

the 'poor-soil' plants .

I've seen a large colony of S.purpurea in France ,but never a 'veinless' variant like in your pictures.

You recognize the hiberniculae very well, I'm looking forward to see them in full summergrowth.

Cheers,

Iggy

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Really nice report. I hope to see more during summer :whistling:

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I've seen a large colony of S.purpurea in France ,but never a 'veinless' variant like in your pictures

Really Iggy? I have a few pictures of plants with very light veins from last summer.

Edited by kisscool_38
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Hi Iggy and Aymeric

I will post more photos in the summer, don't worry!

The birch is a big problem, especially as it isn't allowed to be cut down (maybe that should be reconsidered).

I recognize the hibernaculae because I know all the plants very well, exactly where the sites are and where the plants are to be found.

D. rotundifolia is actually the most common Drosera on the bog, its just I couldn't find many hibernaculae. Anglica and intermedia are in one very small site each.

James

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