sometime after 9:30 this morning jesse came to pick me up so we could go visit ponkapoag bog in canton. we've been scheduling to go all of september but for one reason or another it kept on getting postponed. i was ready to give up when jesse got in touch with me early last week with the possibility of a weekend bog visit. she'd been there one other time, a cold new year's day when everything was covered in snow. i promised her we'd see carnivorous plants amongst other interesting natural items.

there was more than half a dozen cars already parked outside the place by the time we got there. after a short trek, we arrived at the start of the bog boardwalk. the thing i noticed right away was how dry it was: areas that would normally be submerged were now bare, and patches of dried sphagnum moss greeted us as we entered the bog.

it wasn't long before we spotted our first pitcher plants.

next we found sundews. although most of them had wilted, we still managed to find some good specimens further into the bog, thriving out in the sunshine.

apart from the carnivorous plants, there were more mushrooms than i'd normally see. other than the red waxycaps, i couldn't identify most of them. i also showed jesse the native cottongrass, which combined with their tails (they actually have two) made them look like mice on sticks. chickadees chirped from the branches of nearby trees and we could occasionally hear some bluejays. green frogs could still be found in the wetter areas of the bog, and we even managed to see a garter snake slither away when we startled it.

our time at the far end of the boardwalk was cut short when a noisy family (grandparents, parents, kids) came up behind us (they must've been coming fast, we didn't hear them the whole time we were coming into the bog). we decided to give them the right of way and started to head back. i actually thought we'd see more people from the amount of cars parked outside but ended up only encountering one group in the bog, which is less than on some of my weekday visits to ponkapoag.

heading back to cambridge-somerville i noticed the small goat sitting on jesse's dashboard. i learned this was her lucky goat, intended to ward off potential car thieves, a sort of club-like deterrent in the form of a four-legged animal. we ended up returning to cambridge to get some lunch at the oxford spa then later i showed jesse my garden and gave her some farewell basil.

one of my neon tetras died! i found out when i did a count and noticed i had one less tetra than usual. looking for the body, i finally saw it in the intake valve of the water filter. its death is a mystery, because up to this point i've had no problems with my tetras, and in fact i was hoping they'd live a long life after i read they can live up to 10 years. it couldn't be because of the cherry barb, because i've had it in the same tank with the tetras for many months now and i haven't noticed any sort of aggression.

my parents and sister came over to my place for dinner tonight. as is our tradition, they brought the ingredients and cooked the food. after they left i watched episode 5 of that WWII documentary.