– Kathy Barton

On June 3, 2009, Fran Underwood and I explored a bog in northern RI. We found Arethusa (Arethusa bulbosa—State endangered) an orchid that blooms in early June. This would have been a great find by itself, but along with the pink Arethusas, there were a number of white ones. For me, this would be the find of the year. Going through old records last week reminded me of the long ago adventure and, after discussing it with Fran, we decided to revisit the site even though we would be a little late for peak bloom.

Entering the bog is a challenge since the edges are heavily overgrown with shrubs and royal ferns with the spaces in between filled with water and sphagnum moss. Even wellies can’t save you from getting wet feet when you bog down to the knees (which we did a couple of times). When we finally pushed through to the main bog, the land became open, sunny and firmer.