Beulah Bog EarthCache
In Wisconsin, United States
Size:  (not chosen)
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The Beulah Bog is in a State Nature area in Walworth County. It is a great example of a natural bog. Please be aware that this is a protected area. Please treat it with care.
This is not your typical geocache, it is an Earthcache, you will not find a "cache container" rather, an Earthcache is designed to bring you to a geological feature. See (visit link) for further details.
The coordinates above will bring you to an area where you can experience the Beulah Bog. However, in order to log this EarthCache as a “find”, you must learn a bit more about the bog, the nature of the bog, and how it came to be here.
The Beulah Bog lies in a series of four kettle holes and features an undisturbed bog with many unusual plants more typical of northern bogs. Classical stages of ecological succession are exhibited in the bog including: a shallow bog lake dominated by watershield with white and yellow water-lilies and extensive floating mud flats; an advancing, quaking sedge and sphagnum mat between 25 and 50 feet wide; northern wet forest of tamarack and bog shrubs and; a wet open moat surrounding the main bog, dominated by wild calla and cat-tails. Undisturbed bogs in this area are rare and the site supports a number of regionally rare plants with more northern affinities including dense cotton grass, large and small cranberry, and small bladderwort. The site harbors at least six species of insectivorous plants and the state-threatened plant, kitten tails (Bessya bullii), is also found here. The bog lake provides habitat for several dragonfly species and other invertebrates. Beulah Bog is owned by the DNR and was designated a State Natural Area in 1975. (information from the Wisconsin DNR website)
Progression from Lake to Bog
The progression from lake to bog starts when plants begin to encroach into perimeter of the lake and the sediments begin to change from clasts to peats (Lowe, 1997).
Peat begins to accumulate along with silts in the lake as plants start to invade the lake. Then, peat forms a layer at the bottom of the lake. Peat also begins to accumulate around the lake's perimeter. As the peat begins to accumulate, the region around the lake's perimeter grows shallower providing additional area for the growth of more vegetation. The area of open water grows smaller until the lake is filled with peat. Mixed vegetation such as grasses, sedges, shrubs, and deciduous trees may then root and grow over the now filled lake. As terrestrial peats begin to accumulate, the deciduous trees begin to dwarf and conifers start to dominate. The change from deciduous trees to conifers is probably a result the increasing acidity of the bog as the terrestrial peat accumulates. As the doming of the bog continues, the environment changes such that conifers can no longer survive and the vegetation is then dominated by Sphagnum.
LOGGING THIS CACHE
In order to log this cache, you must do the following things:
1. Take a picture of yourself on the boardwalk with your GPS visible in the photo, so we know that you were here. Post this picture with your log.
2. Determine the temperature of the water in the bog. Email the answer to me (do not post on the log).
3. Determine the pH of the water in the bog (a pH kit can be purchased at any pool supply store) Email the answer to me (do not post on the log).
The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to Thomas Meyer of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at: (visit link)
NOTE: This cache brings you to a Wisconsin State Natural Area. Please be extremely careful in this area to stay on the trail. This is a very fragile environment. Be especially careful not to cause damage to the area by trampling of natural communities and spreading of invasive species (Garlic Mustard, Purple Loostrife, etc...)
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Last Updated: on 5/1/2014 12:45:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time (7:45 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum