Bloomingdale Bog

Hmm… let’s see. I was in the Adirondacks for 4 days and took 244 photos. Assuming that at least half of those are total crap and that I post an average of 5 pics a day, that means you’ll have to listen to me ramble on about this quickie trip for about a month.

Thank your lucky stars I won’t be subjecting you to that.


Except for a few special stories or images, there’s really no other way to do this than day by day. So turn your head if you haven’t the stomach for it. I’ll try to be quick.

We spent Saturday morning in a place called Bloomingdale Bog. The name might sound familiar to some because there was a Northern Hawk Owl there a couple winters ago… I know a few people who made the trek up to see it. Bloomingdale Bog strikes fear in my heart because it’s usually so infested with mosquitos and black flies that it’s a horrendous way to waste time birding, but the bugs were tolerable this year. It’s a great place to find boreal birds.

Bunchberry… my absolute favorite flower from the northwoods… it likes shady, moist acidic soil and was in bloom almost everywhere we went. Down on my knees to photograph them was like looking at a tiny forest of miniature dogwood trees. I wish I could grow this at home.

The soft needles of a tamarack twig… these turn gold in fall and then drop for the winter. Love ’em!

While I was poking around in the leaf litter with the camera, the rest of the group was birding. Imagine that! I don’t know what they were listening for, but they eventually found one *must-see* bird on the trip…

Here they are looking at a Black-backed Woodpecker way up in the top of a black spruce snag. Cool bird… I’ll have some pics to share on another day.

What’s neat to me about a boreal bog is how similiar the plant life is to what I find in the Pine Barrens here in NJ. Those little red bits are British Soldier Lichen amid some type of star moss and reindeer lichen. Star moss is common in the Pine Barrens, but the British Soldiers are a good find there.

Sheep Laurel is also really common in the Pine Barrens, but it was putting on a gorgeous show there in the misty bog. Lest you think I spent all my time goofing off looking at plants, you should know that I was one of only two people to see a Gray Jay – and we saw it only because we were goofing off looking at flowers. So there.

Aww… this is Spencer and he had a grand time in the Adirondacks! A great little dog brought along by someone in our group – he provided much needed boredom relief when the birding was slow. And yes, there’ll be more pics of Spencer.

So… that was Saturday morning before lunch. The birds had been good – Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, singing White-throated Sparrows and Juncos (what a treat to hear them in summer!) and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Oh! Forgot to mention that I finally get to add Pileated Woodpecker to my life list – about time, I think. We spotted it along the road just outside of Lake Placid.

11 thoughts on “Bloomingdale Bog”

  1. I am so green with envy!! You sound so relaxed and happy when you write about your birding [and other things] adventures. I, for one, am glad you don’t only look for birds.

  2. Laura–your pic to vacation day ratio sounds about right. Just think of the fun you will have reliving your trip as you go through them.
    Love Spencer–sort of has a goofy look on his face, doesn’t he.
    And what was Luka doing at home while you were gone?

  3. That area sure looks like the Sax-Zim Bog in northern Minnesota. I love bunchberries too. They grow thick at Hasty Brook in the spring.

  4. Your shot of the boreal bog is a marvel of Mother Nature’s composition skills: perfect balance, depth and placement of all elements. God, she’s good, isn’t she?!

    Spencer’s the dog I would love to have, but it’s just too hot in Atlanta for his kind to thrive.


  5. When I first glanced at the title I thought perhaps you had left the group to go shopping. I should have known better. Sounds like a great trip, made even better with a cute dog around.

  6. I really enjoy these posts you do on these rare habitat types. Bogs and pine barrens remind me of pocosins and the ecotones that occur between upland longleaf pine and swampy areas. great post.

  7. Rabbit’s Guy: Yeah… I’m addicted.


    Cindy: We are a very casual group – I’m glad for that and all the laughter, too.

    Bobbie: Yeah… we spend a lot of time that way… looking up.

    KGMom: Spencer was a joy – rolling in the bog, digging everywhere, snapping up bugs, begging lunch leftovers. A great little dog!

    Luka was probably making the DH nuts while I was gone. He can be a real pill you know.


    Lynne: I was thinking the same thing, tho I’ve never been there.

    The bird observatory at Sandy Hook had a trip to Northern Minnesota and N. Dakota last summer and visited Sax-Zim. One of these days I’ll get there – hopefully when it’s full of Great Grays!

    Have any pics of the berries on those bunchberries? I’ve never seen them in fruit.

    La reine: It was a beautiful view, but the pic is awful, I think. There’s just too many little things for the camera to show – the spatterdock blooming in the marsh, the blue flag blooming along the margins, the dragonflies skirting among it all. Probably accounts for my preference for the macro lens.

    Delia: The pileated has been a tough one for me! Strange.

    Glad you found a reason to share that pic of you – I think it’s a great one.

    NCMountainWoman: Right… you should know better.


    This bog is the closest I’d find myself to any Bloomingdale’s.

    Cedrorum: What in the world is a pocosin?

    (off to find a dictionary)

    After being at this for years, I think I’m finally beginning to put together the relationships between birds/plants/habitat and what to expect where and when. That’s been fun and kind of amazing that I finally know just enough to be dangerous.


  8. Your pictures are always so good, Laura. My favorite on this post is the one of moss & lichens–I love those colors and it turned out so good, even on an overcast day.

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