Spruce Lake Bog State Natural Area

Spruce Lake Bog, nestled near Dundee, Wisconsin, stands as a captivating Wisconsin State Natural Area. Covering a generous expanse of 35 acres, this bog beckons visitors to embark on its boardwalk loop for a magical journey. Personally, my aim in venturing to this area was to stumble upon the enchanting pink lady’s slippers and, with any luck, catch a glimpse of the splendid purple pitcher plant flowers. To my sheer amazement, the abundance and diversity of plant life surpassed all expectations.

Pink lady’s slipper

One particular plant caught me off guard as I repeatedly brushed past it, unaware of its true identity. Familiarity had led me to believe I knew it well, but my perception changed when I decided to employ the Seek app for identification. To my astonishment, it turned out to be poison sumac. This revelation caught me completely by surprise since we have the non-poisonous variety two hours south. The leaves bore a striking resemblance, making it easy to mistake one for the other. However, a key distinguishing feature emerged—the poisonous sumac boasted clusters of white or green berries dangling downward, in stark contrast to the upright red berries of its benign counterpart.

While strolling along the boardwalk, one could effortlessly traverse its length within a matter of minutes. However, my fascination with the surroundings held me captive for nearly two hours. The pink lady’s slippers bloomed with a radiant beauty, captivating my senses. Utilizing Seek and iNaturalist apps, I delved deeper into my botanical exploration, unearthing a treasure trove of captivating findings.

  • European Royal Fern
  • Cinnamon Fern
  • Water Hemlock
  • Water Horsetail
  • Poison Sumac
  • Canada Mayflower
  • Water Horsetail
  • Orchard Grass
  • Green Arrow Arum
  • Pink Lady’s Slippers
  • Sensitive Fern
  • Bladder Sedge
  • Tufted Loosestrife


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