Sunday, August 21, 2016

Campobello Vacations - Quoddy Head State Park and Eagle Hill Bog

The Lubec and Campobello areas each have their own gorgeous bogs with excellent boardwalks throughout. We visited both the Quoddy Head State Park (in Lubec), and the Eagle Hill Bog (in Campobello.) In 2013, we visited the bogs in June, and in 2016, we visited the bogs in August. As you can imagine, the bog plants were in different stages of their life cycles during the visits. Oh yes, these bogs are made of peat moss at their base. The mosses builds up in extremely wet areas over thousands of years and support a myriad of plants that can survive in harsh conditions. This link goes to a great information guide: U.S. Geologic Survey of the Bogs of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
Located in Lubec, Maine
Quoddy Head State Park has a "coastal plateau bog (also known as a heath) with subarctic and arctic plants rarely seen south of Canada." To get to the bog, we walk past the West Quoddy Lighthouse, then along a coastal trail that overlooks Quoddy Channel (which runs between Lubec and Campobello.) The views are gorgeous!
The rocks on the State Park shore are a mixture of sedimentary rocks like shale, conglomerate, glacial sand and cobbles, as well as metamorphic rocks and volcanic rocks. You can read some of the geologic history from the Maine Geologic Survey.
Left column - Yellow Blue-Bead Lily flowers and berries
Right Column - Bunchberry flowers and berries
On our June visit, we saw plants in bloom, such as Bunchberry and Yellow Blue-Bead Lily. By August, the flowers have gone, leaving berries behind! (Thanks to Josh Fecteau for giving me the proper I.D.)
 With it's location on the coast, the State Park forested area receives a lot of moisture from fog. We saw evidence of the result of this in the tremendous variety of lichens, moss, and fungi covering the ground and the trees as we walked the trails toward the bog. The Quoddy State Park has a fairly short boardwalk, but more extensive trails leading to and from the bog.
Purple Pitcher plants were in full bloom in June.
There was peat moss that was just beginning to green up.
And there were all sorts of trees, like black spruce and larch mixed
throughout the landscape.
By the way, surrounding the pitcher plant flower, you see the dark green leaves of Cloudberry (aka Bakeapple), Rubus chamaemorus. This is an alpine plant that is found in the bog due to the continually damp conditions. Its berries (which were not present yet) are used to make jam.
The Eagle Hill Bog, in Campobello, has a much more extensive boardwalk, part of which connects to an overlook toward Glensevern Lake and Herring Cove.
We saw these flowering plants in June. Labrador Tea (white), American Larch (red pine cone shaped flower), and Bog American Laurel (pink.) By the way, the Larch flowers were still present in August and eventually turn into the pine cones. (Again, thanks to Josh Fecteau for giving me the proper I.D. of the Laurel)
In August, the plants are quickly maturing before autumn weather sets in. Summers are short in Downeast Maine and on Campobello. Bog cranberries are maturing, Labrador Tea plants are pulling in tannins and darkening on the underside of their leaves, Purple Pitcher Plant flowers are now mature fruits with seeds, spiders are taking advantage of surfaces all over the bog to build their webs, and the sphagnum moss is changing from bright green to rich russet colors.

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