and also another one: grass pink. They are small shy orchids and you have to look carefully to find them hidden in boggy shaded places, among the bayberry and holly. Come further in! they whispered shyly to us, and so, spell-bound, we did.
Many enchanting sights appeared as we walked deeper and deeper into the bog. The flower of the northern pitcher plant was just emerging.
Blue iris, winking like jewels.
The magical northern pitcher plant. Here you can see its charmingly sinister basal cups filled with water, where poor unsuspecting creatures are lured in and drowned, while the bog fairies hover nearby and laugh. ( Nobody ever said bog fairies were nice. )
After wandering around the bog and almost getting sucked down into the netherworld, we went a different way out. Then we got so lost. Because ferns had overgrown the trail we found last spring; more trees had fallen; everything had been turned around and rearranged and obscured, the better to lure poor unsuspecting creatures like us. Though, really, we ought to know better by now.
Luckily for us the mosquito repellent Greg had bought at the Dollar Store has an actual compass embedded in its top (also a whistle, though who would have heard us? And it was a very soft whistle. But still: good thought.)
Without the mosquito repellent compass we might still be wandering around in circles in the forest. We saw this osprey nest from several different angles, that's all I'm saying.
Eventually we came to the eastern passage. Really, I can't imagine how we got here.
Then more slogging through deceptively smooth-looking fern covered fields and broken deadfall where I'm sure I heard the sounds of elvish snickering
until at last we crossed the path that leads to the main road, and -- just like that -- we found ourselves transported from the realm of mid-summer magic back to reality.