Bog Trip

No school for 13-year-old, day off for 19-year-old, no snow yet, and November’s scant light: I fold up my laptop and, impromptu, declare we’ll visit Chickering Bog.

We follow a path through the woods, our boots brushing through fallen maple and ash and cherry leaves, then through a stand of tamarack where the dirt path is scattered with tiny gold needles. On the easy walk, the girls chattered, moving quickly against the damp, the three of them in their black down jackets and myself in turquoise. We’re not far from the world from houses and cars, yet the forest folds around us. I’ve been walking in various New England forests since I was a child, and although this particular path isn’t familiar, the woods are — filled with both that allure of what’s around that next bend or behind that glacial erratic? and, simply, the woods’ loveliness.

The path leads up to what’s more properly a fen. The boardwalk takes us near the middle where the girls find cranberry-red carnivorous pitcher plants. Beneath our boots lies the thousands-of-years-old mysteries of peat. And over our heads, all that sky.

A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the Beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden


Calais, Vermont

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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6 Responses to Bog Trip

  1. What a beautiful woodland language- den and carnivorous plants (!) – I’d like to walk in that wood and see them all. (And I will look up ‘fen’!) thanks for sharing the wander.

  2. I first learned the word fen in Graham Swift’s Waterland. The carnivorous plants were cool!

  3. Vicki says:

    Beautiful post. I love Graham Swift’s, “Waterland”, it’s a book that has stayed with me, years after reading it.

  4. I read this book on a cross country train trip in December — I remember all that sparkling snow in Montana while I was reading about water in England. Thanks for the compliment.

  5. Bog oozing around the submerging gumboot, what tests its firmness. Magical to the child.

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