There's a short trail out to Pinhook Bog, but it's only open for ranger led tours. Kelly from our farm tour was at the trailhead with all the info we needed to know about how bogs are formed. Pinhook Bog was originally a kettle lake, formed when a chunk of glacier broke off and a depression was made which filled with the melting glacial water.
Plants that thrive in bogs must be able to tolerate low nutrient levels in soil and water due to the acidic environment. Carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants and sundews have adapted to the low nutrient levels by trapping insects and dissolving them for their nutrient needs.
Ranger Amy was busy showing bladderwort to the kids and explaining the habitat to a group when we approached on the floating boardwalk. I had my photographer's eye on the cotton grass growing at the edge of the water.
Cotton grass is actually a member of the sedge family and not a true grass. It was so pretty against the red leaves. I also learned that Poison Sumac likes "its feet wet" from Ranger Kelly. Good to know since I go around touching plants without thinking all the time. If the red leaves of the Sumac you're admiring this fall are in a dry habitat like the one I touched recently on the Ice Age Trail you should be safe.
Don't worry about the ants shown above, only 1% of the visiting prey get captured. South Carolina and neighboring states have different species of pitcher plants than what we see here in the north. Hope we get to see some, but we might not be close enough to the right habitat on our trip next week. What will we see? Don't worry, I'll take lots of pictures and show them to you! But first I have one more post from Indiana's Cowles Bog and a mural on Monday to share with you too.