04 May 2012

Blueberry Beret

When I do the bog tours, I have been known to extol the virtues of poop, or, more accurately, the importance of poop. Poop brings nutrients and bogs don't love nutrients, but nutrients do have an impact on bogs.

Poop, delivered from the air, also brings unwanted seeds into the bog. Right now, I am starting to see the native bog blueberry coming into leaf.
Of course, the picture here is one from the central bog and much later in the year - when I do the tours, I rarely have time to take photos.

But the really problematic blueberries are the ones that are delivered aerially, and they have been in leaf and even flower, for a few weeks now. These are the domestic blueberries, brought in by birds from neighbouring blueberry farms. They are spectacular plants, exquisite all year round. In the winter their often red stems are beautiful to look at, when they come into bud in the spring, they are a lovely sign of spring, then their tiny flowers bring in honeybees to buzz pollinate them, followed later by the amazing and delicious fruit and then just as it seems they have no more to give, suddenly they dazzle us with their fall red.

For all their beauty and bounty however, they are tough to remove and they hasten the drying out of the bog. We are lucky that even in the area of the Delta Nature Reserve that is succeeding to forest, they have not yet taken hold.
There are many domestic varieties, and even some of the apparently low-growing ones are not our native bog blueberries. You need to look out for the roundish, more blue-green leaves amongst the moss and cranberries.
And they are there, hidden treasure.

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