It is amazing to see how Mother Nature takes back her old land. The raised bog in Lille Vildemose is developing fast during the last years and will continue doing so - and the recent peat areas are now filled with water. Flora and fauna shows its richness, birds, bees, butterflies, dragonflies - they all come back. Nature is breathing.
Portland Mose in the northern section of Lille Vildmose in 2008, where the wooden pavements are not yet connected.
Portland Mose in 2009 before the water gets higher.
Portland Mose in 2010 with much more water along the pavement.
The sundew is a sign that things are doing well in the moor. It was very hard to find last year but in June 2010, the sundew had become numerous. (click to enlarge)
The sphagnum moss lives and grows from rain water and from the nutrients which follow the rain. The raised bog thus functions as a gigantic fungus, keeping the rain water. The upper ab. 1/2 meter of the raised bog consists of living sphagnum moss growing each year and making the bog a few millimeters thicker. Under the living moss is a peat layer with water, free of oxygen. This peat layer, which bottom is about 1.500 years old, has a thickness of 4-6 meters. How it looks under the upper living layers of sphagnum moss is visible in the brown areas at Grønvej and Møllesøvej, where peat was last digged, but now the production of spaghnum is in its last stage. When this production has stopped the wet raised bog-ntaure will be fully re-created. The raised bog in Lille vildmose is meant to achieve the same extent from times immemorial.
Along Hegnsvej in the northern section of Lille Vildmose has the peat industry been given up, and it is now obvious how nature walks in and changes from month to month. Greylag goose, crane and marsh harrier have began breeding, and the bittern is heard spring and summer. It is the ghost of the reed forest and sounds like a mad bull roaring in the distance. Thousand of dragonflies fly across the former digging areas, which are now water-filled and overgrown after many decades of industrial production. Nature is gaining terrain in Lille Vildmose, which will become wetter and wilder in the years to come.
The lake and the reed forest where the marsh harrier has its nest and where the bittern roars.
A few trees still stick their branches above water.
A solid bridge across the water. Maybe the railing to one side is a little scaring for a family with small children. Actually the moor is not a place for small children. There are lots of vipers along the wooden pavement - and although you do not see them they are everywhere and it is difficult for impulsive and energetic small children not to rush out into the moor.
The pavement is narrow but necessary!
A leece lay in the midst of the thick plant layer upon the lake. It tried to get down under for a long time, but suddenly it found a hole and vips! it disappeared. You can still buy leeches on the pharmacy, but I don't know if they are still used to cleanse the blood like in the old days. To the right a pretty Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus). There were many of those lively Argus Blue that day. (click to enlarge)
Ffine golden-brown colours in the moss. To the right bell heather, which is typical for a place like this, and the butterflies love it. Honey from bell heather is dark and very aromatic. be. (click to enlarge).
Hare's tail cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum L.) Eriophorum grows wild in the North and is a common plant in the moors. It is very beautiful when it is swaying in the summer wind. The eriphorum reddens in the raised bogs. The reddened leaf-rosettes are being cleansed for peat soil and are now mentioned peat fibers. The fibres are card together with wool and sold as "cardflor" and knitting yarn. (NB: It is not allowed to use the cottongrass in Lille Vildmose).
cottongras like snow flakes and a white birch
Birch thicket, Portland Mose has been overgrown with birch thicket, but most tress and bushes have now been removed and now they are only a resonable and decorative part of the moor.
There are may view points along the pavement road. Portland Mose with its long wooden pavements and bridges across the moor and the lake is a good place for people to come, and many come to see what is happening along the way. This is also a fantastic educational place for school classes.
It is visible here how broad the beams are which hold wooden pavement. In the moist soil between the beams are sundew, cloudberry, bell heather and many other interesting plants. Frogs and lizards, vipers hiding, butterflies fluttering, dragonflies hovering and bumble bees humming. A wonderful summer's day. Maybe I can come back in the autumn.
photo Lille Vildmose 27. June 2010: grethe bachmann