sna poems #72: rhine center bog

rhine center bog is a bog lake formed within a kettle, the depression left by a melting block of buried glacial ice. tamaracks to the south, a mesic hardwood forest on the uplands, and dense, boggy ground all about.

my trip was punctuated by light submersion in the peat (with appropriate footwear) and by the leavings of animal and bird corpses—the latter a poignant reminder of the aspect of nature walks we don’t often like to think about. and caution: a few pictures of the remains (not too graphic) appear after the final three-liner.

(note again: still on the excursion with the flip-phone, so photos aren’t all that clear.)


the bog exhales with each step

under marsh wren’s tone-spray,

here where piling tussocks reign


skunk cabbage

deer scat:

sphagnum perch


yellow birch conspired with moss,

offered an island for human bones—

no names for birds all around


fungus and tooth

would make quick work

if i fell and didn’t get up

sna poems #66: beulah bog

beulah bog is a series of four kettles at the southern end of kettle moraine, which itself was formed by the frictional forces of the green bay lobe and lake michigan lobe of the laurentide ice sheet grinding and sliding past one another over thousands of years in the last ice age.

there are floating mud flats, quaking sedge and sphagnum mats, a tamarack wood, and open water. several species of insectivorous plants live here too, though we didn’t see any this early. shoots were on the make, however, and i think we saw the early stirrings of calla lily and poison ivy. lots of oak debris along the slope descending to the bog-moat that circles the tamaracks. the first hike not on snow in a couple months, which was refreshing.


past the walworth county

line, bogs and kettles

lay in watery wait


bog-edge thaws

a muddy moat

bosoming the larch stand